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Tech and Wellbeing: Improving Health and Wellbeing Through Technological Advances


The COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions have resulted in behavioral and lifestyle changes for many people around the world, impacting their physical and mental wellness. There are many technologies available to treat and manage these resulting issues, but there is a growing need for more effective and accessible health management solutions as well as proactive approaches to reduce these health challenges before they start.

On January 14th 2021, TCS’ Digital Empowers, hosted a panel discussion in collaboration with Dom C Higgins, Head of Health and Education at The Wildlife Trusts, Kris Tokarzewski, CTIO at Vitality UK, and Jamie Bankhead, CEO of Konglomerate Games. The session explored how technology has played a critical role in wellbeing not only throughout the pandemic but beyond. With over 50 participants, the session convened expert speakers presenting their perspectives from the corporate, nonprofit, and start-up sectors.
 

Key Takeaways from the session included:

  • Engaging with nature has positive impacts on mental health. To promote this engagement, The Wildlife Trusts created several initiatives, such as 30 Days Wild, to keep people engaged with nature and look after their wellbeing. People can use outdoors cameras such as NatureWatch to observe wildlife without disturbing it and reap the benefits of engaging with nature from the comfort of their home
  • There is a growing awareness by employers, healthcare workers, and individuals of the importance of taking proactive steps to improve mental and physical wellness. By incentivizing good behavior and healthy lifestyle choices through rewards, Vitality reduces costs and pressure on the healthcare system while improving their client’s health outcomes.
  • Gamification technology can be applied to the management of many health issues, including mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression. Konglomerate Games utilized this technology by creating a game that increases children’s positive response to health treatments. Their device, the Jordi-Stick, connects to a patient’s nebulizer allowing children to complete their physiotherapy while playing a game, showed increased quality of breaths by 80% for children with cystic fibrosis.
  • The data collected from these technologies – wearable devices for healthcare – can then be gathered and used for AI and machine learning to predict health trends and potential issues.
     

Digital Empowers is TCS’ CSR thought leadership initiative aimed at accelerating innovation for social impact. The overall goal of Digital Empowers is to facilitate the generation of new ideas, foster the spread of these ideas while facilitating action through a cross-collaborative process. Since inception, Digital Empowers has engaged with thousands of experts to create and expand the knowledge base, explore technology solutions that have exponential impact on the most pressing problems - all of which have cross-sections and applications around the world, and to create an ecosystem of vital cross-sector partnerships leading to collaborative social impact solutions. The program has also opened doors for social entrepreneurs and changemakers to ideate and collaborate with business and technology leaders to bring novel social impact innovations to the community.

To learn more about the Digital Empowers program, read our Global Insights Report, Digital Empowers: Technology as a Catalyst for Empowering Communities

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