Reflection #1 – Rachel Stewart

Technology is arguably one of the most influential factors in regards to how we live our daily lives.  From the moment the alarm on our cell phone wakes us up in the morning we are utilizing the benefits of technology.  It plays such an important role in our daily rituals that it may be hard to think of a time when it was not around.  Fixated by the convenience technology brings us we may not stop to think about the negative consequences it could potentially have on us.

Undoubtedly, technology has progressed the health industry in so many ways.  Angela Haggerty points this out several times in her article “Checking your vitals:  Wearable technology is changing the way we monitor health.”  The convenience and ease of health trackers have motivated people to become healthier.  We are exposed to knowledge that was previously impossible to measure consistently throughout the day such as heart rate, sleep habits, and step trackers.  This has allowed people to take control of their health in ways that were never possible before.

Another way technology can evolve the healthcare industry was mentioned in the “Healthcare Predictions for 2015” by Julie Papanek.  Amazon may soon find its way into the healthcare market, creating a better system that’s cheaper and more efficient.  Walmart is initiating a health care insurance exchange online to make the confusing process a bit easier for consumers.  It is so obvious to see how technology has improved our ability to lead healthier lives.  However, less obviously are the negative effects technology may have and how it could actually be impeding our health.

The aspects of our health I believe are suffering from technology are mental health, happiness, and the ability to feel satisfied and fulfilled with our own lives and achievements.  Psychologist Sherry Turkle discusses her interesting perspective regarding technology and our health in her TED Talk here.  So although technology may be increasing our physical health what is it doing to our mental health?  The Huffington Post broke down their thoughts about the negative consequences of technology in their article here.  I think skepticism is the best approach for moving forward.  We can embrace the benefits technology may bring to certain areas of our health but we must be aware of the cost it can have in other areas.

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