Technology startups have a reputation for creating the latest smartphone app or newest device that users rely on. Tech companies like Fitbit have focused on improving its users' physical health by helping them monitor their physical activity. Despite the progress with physical health, it has been difficult for companies to use technology to address mental health. High costs and underdeveloped technology made it an expensive venture for consumers. However, that may be changing.
Telemedicine is growing in popularity for companies. It's turning to phone apps to incorporate videos and voice recordings into the into the mental health process. For older adults who struggle with mobility, telehealth could be an important part of their care. In addition, it could offer patients a low-cost and non-medical option for coping with depression.
What if a smartphone could do more than connect an individual with a health professional? What if it could improve a patient's depression on its own? One company is hoping to do just that with the power of sound.
The power of sound
Inc. reported that individuals suffering from depression can download an app with a daily recording designed to improve the listener's mood. How can it do this? Instead of changing brain chemistry to improve mood - the way a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor does - this recording focuses on changing brain waves to increase serotonin. It looks to increase alpha brain waves, which can increase the amount of serotonin, known as the "feel good" neurotransmitter.
The daily recording plays at a frequency that users can't hear - and yet can influence how our brains react. When paired with talk therapy and antidepressants, it could aid individuals to improve their day-to-day lives.
A deeper look at telehealth
According to a Goldman Sachs report on healthcare and technology, telehealth is one of the largest facets of the Internet of Things. It could save consumers up to $100 billion. It has the potential to connect consumers with mental health professionals, which can help them manage depression. It also has the future potential to connect consumers to physical therapy professionals to help older adults recovering from an injury. Many researchers believe that telehealth, in its current form, is best used when paired with another element of healthcare, including working with a caregiver. To learn more, reach out to Interim Healthcare.