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How Mobile Internet Tech Can Save Your Life

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Technology in our everyday lives has been fueled by expanding access to the Internet. Cell phones evolved from simple communication devices to pocket computers when we connected them to the Internet. Today, going somewhere without a smartphone—and no way to get online—would be unthinkable.

Our mobile devices play an important part in every aspect of our lives. Shopping, banking, talking with friends—all can be done with a smartphone and an Internet connection. It’s no surprise, then, that our mobile devices also connect us to vital health and emergency services.

How can mobile Internet technology save your life? Here are five ways.

Healthcare Wearables

Wearables, or gadgets that you can wear, have become one of the fastest growing mobile technologies in the last several years. Globally, 835 million people had a connected wearable device in 2020. These devices were designed and commercialized with health in mind. Tracking heart rate, weight, or daily activity gives people important insights into their health that they didn’t have before.

Fitbit, one of the most popular wearable trackers, can detect irregularities in heartbeat. This data alerts the wearer to potential problems. A Fitbit cannot detect a heart attack, but it can give you important health information that can help prevent a heart attack from taking place.

Other innovative wearables include a patch for children and babies to monitor their temperature while they sleep. There’s an N95-level scarf that filters airborne pollutants. There’s even smart hearing aids that can selectively filter sounds.

Smart Voice Assistants

Voice assistants like the iPhone’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are built with emergency alert systems. Siri works in tandem with your phone’s operating system. A call can be placed or your location can be sent when you voice-activate emergency features. When you tell Siri to “call 911”, a countdown starts, giving you time to cancel in case it was triggered by accident.

Smart assistants can come in handy at home, too. Users can program Alexa to call an emergency contact following a voice command such as “Alexa, I need help.” Mobile technology doesn’t only apply to devices we take with us outside the home. This tech can have life-saving benefits at home too.

VR Training for Surgeons

As virtual reality becomes more accessible, many see its potential as a training tool. One particular life-saving application of VR is training surgeons and other medical professionals. Surgical training isn’t standardized. Some medical residents end up unprepared to carry out surgeries on patients. This lack of objective training has consequences. More than 7 million patients around the world experience surgical complications each year.

VR could help improve patient outcomes by giving medical residents more interactive training. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine showed a 230 percent overall improvement in surgical performance with a VR training method. VR could modernize surgical education, producing more accurate surgeons who avoid mistakes.

Apps on Mobile Devices

Today, everyone has a smartphone they use multiple times a day. Phones help us shop, communicate, and live our lives online. Why shouldn’t they help us in emergency situations? Both iOS and Android have many apps you can download geared toward personal safety. Some of these apps will place emergency calls for you, provide you with the crime data of your area, or can start recording audio and video as soon as you hit a “panic button.” A smartphone with an emergency app installed could get you out of an unsafe situation.

Emergency apps aren’t the only apps that can save lives. Health and fitness apps that track your heart rate, weight, daily activity, and mental state give you important information about your wellbeing. You can use this data to take proactive steps toward improving your overall health and fitness.

3D Printing in Healthcare

When 3D printing first became popular, the possibilities for the technology seemed immense. One application of 3D printing that has saved lives is in healthcare. Medical professionals can create precise, personalized pharmaceuticals with a dose and delivery system customized to particular patients.

The technology goes even further with 3D bioprinting, allowing researchers and physicians to create living human cells or tissues. 3D bioprinting has impacted the field of regenerative medicine, letting doctors create badly needed organs rather than relying on donors (who are in short supply). Having an organ transplant can mean the difference between life and death. For some patients and 3D printing allows them to have the care they need.

Mobile Internet tech has developed rapidly in the last two decades. It’s ushered in a digital era where everyone can go online from anywhere, whenever they want. This technology makes our lives easier and keeps us communicating with others. Mobile tech also saves lives, and will continue to do so as more advances are made in the future.

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