Reflection #3 & #4 Emily Emmons

The articles chosen for weeks 3 and 4 focused heavily on the advancement of technology in regards to personal health information.

The Ted Talk about self quantification speaks about how technological advancements affect everyday life. He emphasized that everything about a person can be tracked with modern technology. Wearable technology is also progressing, improving, and becoming more popular. Things such as exercise, eating, sleeping, and medicinal information can be tracked and stored with these devices and/or an app. He made it a point that these health tools are pointing outward towards the future and to expansions in technology. He also suggested that these tools can be used as a mirror to become more self aware and encourage improvements. This video left me with the question, is becoming more self-aware actually helping people’s health? Or are people just more aware that they are unhealthy and losing even more motivation?

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The Kays Harbor article about health apps declared that there are 165,000 health apps that exist. This number is only increasing. Mobile technology has played a major role in the health field. These apps have influenced a healthier lifestyle to all consumers. Mobile apps that track health have successfully served as a way to intimately connect people to their health. With this information, is the health of someone without a smart phone dramatically worse than the health of someone who does have one? Is it more than poor diet and exercise that makes someone physically unhealthy?

The Smart Desk article explains a relatively new innovation. The Smart Desk is a desk that prevents users from staying sedentary during use. Staying moderately active all day long is crucial to human health. This desk forces its users to alternate sitting and standing while keeping the screen to face distance constant. This product seems like one that will exponentially increase in popularity, especially in schools. This leads me to wonder, will these desks eventually be enforced at schools? Also, who will fund them?

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A story about an individual named Meg is contained in the article by Gizmodo. Meg paid $100 to get her blood work analyzed by professionals. The results of her analyzation of her blood concluded that her inner age was nearly twice as much as her actual age. Meaning, she had extraordinarily high levels of blood glucose. With these results, she was advised to make lifestyles changes. It seems that these types of tests are going to increase in population. This made me wonder a few things. How will change advocates influence people to examine themselves? Also, how will patients be motivated to make suggested changes AND continue the behavior?

The article about an insurance scandal shared a very real and concerning fact about health care. The insurance company, Excellus was revealed to be hacked in 2015. The hackers had access to all information on its customers. Things that were open to hackers were pieces of personal information such as birthdays, phone numbers, financial information, and even social security numbers. With the current progression of health technology, more and self-analyzing tools will store even more health-related data. This leads me to wonder, will any measure be taken by insurance companies to protect our information? Is the increase in technology potentially dangerous to our health identities?

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