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The newest technology that can change how we all approach mental wellness

If there's one good thing to come out of the pandemic, it's that everyone is talking about mental health- and everyone is looking for ways to improve it.
March 31, 2021 1:00 p.m. EST
March 31, 2021 1:00 p.m. EST

Who says that technology is all fun and games? New advancements in the tech world are proving that it can be beneficial to the healthcare industry too- especially during a pandemic. Education strategist and tech expert Dwayne Matthews gives us the scoop on his favourite new emerging technology, and how it can lead to a healthier future for all of us. 


1. VR for mental health and feeling trapped at home. As people are limited in their movements and engagements with each other, being able to escape, travel and meet in virtual spaces can help mental health. Oculus 2, (by far the best bang for yout buck), offers amazing VR experiences where people at home or loved ones in hospitals or long term care can enter into virtual spaces that help with mental health. There are a few really cool mindfulness applications that are very impactful. There are also cool 360VR experiences where you can travel to cities, space stations, peaceful locations on earth. This is an absolutely amazing experience.


2. Using smart watches to track and upgrade health. The University Health Network just launched a study with Apple Watch to explore early worsening heart health detection. There was also a published paper demonstrating that Apple Watches detect Covid 19 faster than testing, and before symptoms arise. 


3. While not specifically available for the consumer as of yet, (coming soon though), smart glasses can improve patient care as more and more care is going virtual. Doctors can pull up medical records, latest studies and research and collaborate with expert colleagues that are thousands of miles away. This is also a game-changer for doctor training and training in general. These improvements will lead to improvements in patient care. Microsoft just released Mesh which supports Hololens 2 and a host of other devices that will make this possible. Very exciting!


4. The Muse meditation headband monitors brain waves, which can help the user train and meditate more effectively. The Canadian company has managed to shrink the EEG for consumer use. There are a number of research papers that support its efficacy


5. Telepresence Robots that allow loved ones to communicate with family members in long term care facilities or hospitals. The robots can be autonomously programmed to enter rooms where staff may not have the time to go into. They also allow loved ones to communicate and connect. The humanoid presence seems to have an added benefit compared to just a smartphone or tablet, and it requires no hands to operate.


6. Roybi: Robot for toddlers. This robot helps teach social emotional skills as well as literacy skills, and it was featured in the New York Times. My daughter loves this robot. 

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