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Mobile Devices Both Help And Hurt Your Brain Health

You’ve probably seen the gloom-and-doom announcers on television shows using ominous-looking statistics and “true life” stories to terrorize their audience into thinking that technology is a self-inflicted doom we brought on ourselves, making us dumb, lethargic, and mind-numb. On the other hand, the advertisements on those shows are usually from technology giants (and you know who I’m referring to all right) that are trying to convince you that their latest smartphone version is different than the last one, and is exactly what you need to be smart, energetic, and totally alive and connected. Apparently, to survive in this world of contradictions you either need to be bipolar, or to not really pay much attention to what self-titled scientists have to say – or technology advertisers, either.

We genuinely believe that mobile devices are a great tool. However, there’s a caveat: we need to know how to use a device constructively, otherwise all the potential benefits disappear. Knowing what’s up for grabs and what should be best avoided is a great start to making your smartphone your friend. A recent marketing report tracing the tendencies of mobile device usage and health-promoting practices has revealed some hopeful predictions as to how people will be using their mobile devices to benefit their health in 2013.

People will consciously employ technology to promote their well-being, according to the market report by Sharp Brains, an innovation and research organization focusing on brain health marketing trends.

In 2013, it’s estimated that people will be self-diagnosing certain brain injuries or conditions, using their tablets and mobile devices to improve cognitive skills. New services offered by health organizations and medical companies using biometric-based technologies will serve for better assessing brain functions and performance. Some of the predictions of this marketing report include the following:

  •  Teens and adult members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) will make use of online practice activities in order to improve their driving performance and safety.
  •  Thousands of people suffering from insomnia and depression will be treated with fully computerized cognitive behavioral therapy.
  • Nonprofessional athletes will be able to diagnose brain concussion thanks to web-based cognitive brain tests.
  • Tablet-based screening for Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment will be individuals’ first option for diagnosis, with neuroimaging in second place.
  • Around one million USA residents will complete their brain health checkup through a tablet or other mobile device sometime in 2013.
  • Insurance companies will launch educational and promotional campaigns that will engage people in taking steps for achieving brain wellness.
  • People suffering from multiple sclerosis will be offered web-based cognitive training practices in order to enhance their drug-administration therapy.

However, despite these promising predictions 2013 holds for us, mobile device abuse is certainly on the rise. Younger people in particular seem to be caught up in their mobile devices in ways that do not exactly promote brain health, or enhance cognitive abilities.

Another thorny issue surrounding mobile devices is how they absorbs time otherwise spent on face-to-face communication, depriving people of this necessary, intimate interaction and providing instead a faceless, impersonal communication as a supposed equivalent. It all boils down to responsible and forward-looking utilization of your device. It’s a pocket-sized but powerful tool, and we ought to learn how to efficiently use it to promote brain health and minimize brain-associated health risks.

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