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Mental health and ‘Mindtech’ aren’t just about apps and using your phone less; such technology can only do so much. A noise or a vibrate shouldn’t rule your life or be the thing that makes or breaks your day. Apps that serve mental health and wellbeing are just part of the mental health mix. Think of things that technology doesn’t need to be a part of (or a part of to begin with). Think about doing less, perhaps organising your ironing or cleaning via an outsourcing app. As Mari Kondo would say, ‘if something doesn’t bring you joy… don’t allow it in’. Scheduling ‘dead-time’ is also gaining popularity. Regular blocks of time in your calendar to think, reminisce, strategise and plan. Some of the top execs in Fortune 500 block out time in the afternoon for this. Time may be the mental health boost you need rather than the just the latest and greatest £2.99 app with in-built mechanics to make you spend more money. Apps or services that save you time might be all you need. Babylon Health is an excellent example of where health is going just because of the sheer strain on various parts and the way society is going. The community is focusing on utility and services. A strategy that will not just make them money but also create new industries and economies for others. What of the future? Phones and smartwatches will be integral parts of consumer health moving forward. Whether it’s MyFitnessPal, the Apple breathing app or a heart monitor, the benefits of using technology to augment your health is smart. Putting aside the data implications (and who owns what) for a second, the technology is still in its infancy. Eventually (5-10 years) we’ll have slow-release patches for a wider variety of ailments, mainstream swallowable nanobots that track us from the inside (trials already happening around the globe), diagnostic public toilets, full biohacking (from blood to the brain). These technologies and practices will then get blended with self-service and automated technologies that support healthcare professionals. Right now, we’re still in the baby territory on the growth scale, but that baby will be a toddler soon enough, and that’s likely when big debates will flare up (privacy, ownership, invasive tech). Additionally, the big platforms have a role to play: Instagram just banned an augmented reality filter that was to do with plastic surgery. Expect more moves like this as platforms see the PR win. Start thinking now about what your mental health and health strategy moving forward should be for you, your family and your employees. There’s no time like the present to utilise what’s here already and what’s coming. Find out more about what’s coming at you in 2020 and beyond at this year’s TBD Conference. December 6th. Fora residents get a huge discount – contact your concierge team for more details.
Paul Armstrong runs HERE/FORTH, an emerging technology advisory, is the author of ‘Disruptive Technologies’ and regularly writes about technology and society for Forbes, Reuters and Cool Hunting. He is also the creator of TBD: The conference which attendees described as ‘TED… without the bullsh!t’. www.thetbdconference.com