Cell phones get a bad rap in the health world — science has linked them to everything from interruptions in our sleep patterns to carpal tunnel, not to mention the recent buzz over whether or not the radiation could contribute to an increased risk of brain cancer.
But while we’re finding strategies to make our relationship with cell phones safer (turning them off before bedtime to cut down on light exposure or using wired headsets to reduce radiation exposure), there may also be a healthy medium where the technological innovation of cell phones and smart phones can actually help us to lead healthier lives.
Just recently, several studies have pointed to the positive benefits — here, the results from those, and other reasons your cell phone may be actually be healthier than you think:
1. Diabetes Coaching
A recent study published in the American Diabetes Association’s Diabetes Care found that a mobile coaching app, combined with traditional treatment programs, could help patients to manage their Type 2 diabetes.
2. Smoking Cessation
Cell phones may also help to curb smoking, according to a study published this past June in The Lancet.
3. Medication Adherence
We pencil in doctor’s appointments to our calendars as a reminder — but what about the day-to-day maintenance? Not adhering to medication schedules may cost us billions of dollars each year, according to some estimates, and maybe even thousands of lives.
4. On the horizon: Stroke Diagnosis
According to a study published earlier this year in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, doctors may be able to use an iPhone app to diagnose strokes in the future.
5. On the horizon: Help for New Mothers
Nearly 90 percent of the world’s population has access to a cell phone signal — and a report published last year suggests that this technology may be helpful for women giving birth in the developing world, and their newborn children.
6. Better Sleep
A little over a week ago, The Huffington Post Media Group announced it was partnering up with LARK to launch The Great Wake Up Program to help a dozen employees achieve better sleep.
7. Health Apps
A ton of time-sucking apps can be found on our smart phones, but some could actually boost your health. Apple’s iTunes store alone, for instance, has more than six thousand Health & Fitness apps available for download on the iPhone.
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