Last week I was reminded of how incredibly dependent I (and we) have become on technology. First, my IPhone crashed.  I felt lost, discombobulated, and naked.  After several of my own attempts to fix it, I contacted friends who are IPhone users to solicit their advice about how to remedy the situation. Each person offered good advice, but in the end, I had to go to the Genius Bar at Apple to bring my IPhone back to the life I wanted.

Two days later, my MacBook crashed. I have been having computer “issues” for the last few weeks, so I wasn’t too shocked, but it nevertheless put a huge glitch in my work schedule.  The stress of not being socially, financially, and professionally connected to my world was tough to manage. Of course I reflected on what life was like before. It wasn’t that long ago that I was chatting with friends on a landline phone in my bedroom; and using computers only to write essays. Now, almost “too much” of my livelihood happens through my phone and computer. What made it better in the end was working with professionals from the Apple store who could help me effectively diagnose and fix my tech problems. That hand-holding played a key role in significantly diminishing my technostress.

But really, how much of my health and happiness requires technology? It’s an important question for each one of us to answer, mostly because the answer sheds light on how technology can help us and hurt us.

The question of what technology can do for our health and happiness is being asked by health innovators around the world.  I’m heading to the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco today to spend a few days listening to and interacting with leading health care and technology practitioners. To what extent can technology influence our health?

A recent article highlights the current status of mobile tech and health, stating:

…we must craft mobile components into solutions, which are meaningful and available to all of our patients. The true potential for mobile will be realized not by ever more complex iPhone apps, but rather by embedded data connections creating a new class of purpose-built, always connected devices, which reduce the complexity presented to the user.

Do you use your mobile technology to enhance your health?
Can technology change our habits? Increase access to health care? Make health care more affordable? Optimize the experiences of patients and doctors?

If the answers to these questions are yes (or even maybe) then we’re heading in the right direction.

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