Showing posts with label mobile apps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mobile apps. Show all posts

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Build A Better Brain: 4 Apps For Improved Brain Health

At a time of rapid medical processes, basic research is developing innovative treatments. The 21st Century Cures Act was recently signed into law, creating new pathways for drug approval, and tech devices are revolutionizing weight loss, diabetes management, and even aiding in the treatment of conditions like Parkinson’s through the use of deep brain stimulation. Still, in many cases, brain-based issues remain among the most intractable and difficult to treat.
From headaches to memory and mental health, app developers aim to improve our current approaches to brain health. We can feel better and function better with the help of technological advances.

A Headache Helper

Some days, you get a headache that no amount of Tylenol will get rid of – you need something more. But what? Targeted sound waves may be the answer.
Low-frequency sound waves can help relax the mind and relieve headaches, and the Brain Wave Headache Relief app puts these specifically engineered sound waves at your fingertips. The app offers daytime and evening specific programs as well as additional background sound for your enjoyment. While your conscious mind enjoys the soundtrack, the underlying sound waves can relieve headaches by altering alpha, theta, and delta waves in your brain.

Memory Masters

One of the most devastating neurological conditions today is Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia – conditions that rob people of themselves, of the memories and personalities that make us who we are. It comes as no surprise, then, that many of us spend our younger years seeking out memory preservation strategies, including taking fish oil and choline supplements, doing puzzles, and remaining active. Still, this is rarely enough.
In response to our cultural concern with memory and mental agility, many app makers have stepped up with potential solutions, including widely publicized (and controversial) programs like Lumosity. Lumosity hardly has a hold on the market, however. Other popular memory training apps include Elevate and Peak, with Peak featuring mini-games meant to boost attention span, potentially helping users beat out multitasking and distraction in daily life.

Memory Monitoring

Though brain training activities have the potential to keep users stimulated and build neural connections, they can’t beat disease alone, which is why it’s important to be aware of signs of memory loss. Unfortunately, when your memory starts to slip, it can be hard to notice the signs and take them seriously – we all want to discount forgetfulness as normal aging or distraction. Sometimes we need to be pushed to address the issue. That’s what makes the Neurotrack app so useful.
Neurotrack uses eye-tracking technology to spot signs of Alzheimer’s in users. It’s a simple 5-minute process that can be done at home via smartphone and the science behind it is much stronger than anything supporting brain training apps. This program can be a real lifeline for concerned family members hoping to keep tabs on potential problems among older relatives.

Anxiety Awareness

Though we’ve become more aware of mental health as a nation in recent years, appropriate treatment for conditions like depression and anxiety can still be hard to access, particularly for low-income individuals and those living in rural areas. Apps, however, are a low-cost way to help circumvent some of the most challenging symptoms.
If you struggle with anxiety, which is an adaptive and necessary trait, but one that can get out of control, an app like Headspace can help. For a monthly fee of $8, you can access daily guidance packs that help you check your mood and connect with your emotions. You can also choose the life issues you wish to address, helping you to cope with specific concerns, such as job stress or social anxiety. While not the same as seeing a mental health professional, apps make a great stopgap between sessions and can help those without access to treatment make steps towards psychological health.
Apps are never a replacement for medical professionals, but they can be a great way to manage day-to-day and subclinical issues and monitor ongoing problems. And if you can knock out that horrid headache by plugging in your headphones or playing a brain stimulating game instead of Pokemon Go, why not give it a shot?

Thursday, 17 November 2016

5 Ways Tech Is Changing the Face of Event Planning

Today many facets of traditional event planning can have a substantial bearing on how successful the event will be. A major occasion is usually assigned to a specific physical venue, with decorations, food, and other details that can only be obtained in the offline market.
You may also have to write checklists to ensure good execution, schedule team meetings to keep everyone on the same page, and send out physical invitations to boost attendance.
Although these are all aspects of event planning that probably won’t change in the future, the practice of event planning is steadily shifting to a more Internet-based approach. This is having an impact on all industries, and event planning is no exception.
Thanks to the many kinds of available technology, every step of your planning process can be streamlined with the help of technology.
1. Apps
Every good event planner has at least a few apps in his or her toolbox. Apps can serve as portable organizers that keep both the head planner and team members on the same page. Here are some of the most highly recommended:
  • Evernote: takes, organizes, and shares notes
  • Boomset: tracks and monitors event registration and attendees
  • Bizzabo: an all-in-one organizational app for event planners
  • Heytell: turns your smartphone into a walkie-talkie
  • ScannerPro: easily files paper documents digitally from anywhere
Each of these apps can be incredibly useful for an event organizer, and they’re just a few of the many apps available to you.
2. Attendee Data Tracking
Attendee data tracking is another function that can now be maintained online. Most smartphones have wireless transmitters, also known as beacons, that send location-specific messages to other WiFi, Bluetooth, or data-enabled devices.
The information can be collected during events to record numbers, behaviors, location origins, and even personal details about attendees. This is particularly useful for large events that have many people in attendance; you can track the flow of traffic and preserve data that could be useful for future events.
3. List Generation and Note Taking
There are many ways that tech can assist in this facet of event planning. If you’re on the move, and you suddenly remember that you haven’t called the caterers, you can make a quick voice note on your phone or in the Evernote app.
This can be used to create lists to be viewed later or provide a notification system that reminds you when things have to be done. The lists and notes can also be filed and stored online using tools such as DropBox or Google Drive.
This makes it easy to organize all your information and fill in the gaps as you go. It also makes collaboration easier, since you can share information immediately with team members.
4. Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be used to add quality to your event. First, they can assist significantly with your marketing for the occasion.
Facebook events can be created to get a more accurate head count and improve attendance. Social media can also be employed for open-ended events so you can get people to participate in word-of-mouth marketing.
During the event, social media sites can be an effective tool for branding and lead generation. Event organizers can encourage attendees to keep their phones on and interact on social media throughout the proceedings.
This is really great for events that happen on a regular, ongoing basis. They help to raise awareness of the gathering and get more people involved, both online and in person.
5. Total Communication
The multiple ways that technology enables us to communicate now are incredible. Not only can you call or text someone for instant feedback, but you can also video conference, instant chat, use your phone as a walkie-talkie, send email, and share files online.
Organizing and facilitating a party through communication has never been simpler for people who need to work with a team.
Tech also makes it easier to reach out to folks. When you’re seeking a speaker or entertainment, you can interact through video conference or coordinate everything via email.
When you send messages to event attendees, you can turn to social media, use email marketing, or send SMS messages to all invited. The options for communication are astonishingly broad.
The face of event planning is changing rapidly, and the shift is largely positive. Through apps, data collection, and constant communication, events can follow a smoother planning process, they’re a better fit from the attendees’ perspective, and they encourage and support higher attendance now and probably in the future.
This blog was first published on:

Friday, 4 November 2016

A Tropical Getaway: 7 Apps for Easier Travel Planning

In several recent commercial spots, JetBlue has been bragging about its efficiency: how it helps travelers arrive at their destination before they come up with their business idea or before learning about the local animals.
It’s an odd premise because, though speed is a wonderful thing, do you really want to arrive on vacation, only to realize you know nothing about where you are? Vacation is more likely to be fun and fulfilling when you have at least a few plans, even if they’re just to lie on the beach.
What you need are some easy tools to help guide you. Before you hop on that plane to enjoy a little rest and relaxation, you’ll want to download the following great travel apps.
From scuba diving to road trips, there’s an app waiting for your next adventure.

An Approved Itinerary

One of the great challenges of going on a road trip is trying to find the best stops and figuring out how to space them as you go. Now there’s a solution: Tripsee. A crowdsourced itinerary tool, Tripsee aggregates all of the information, from location to costs and hours, while also plugging in your hotel and any flights or other transit data. With insights about which spots are usually overcrowded and other knowledge you can only get from being there, Tripsee is the all-seeing app that goes anywhere you want to be.

When You’re Out of Range

Part of what makes vacationing so great is that you get to disconnect from your normal workday world. Without service, you might not be able to access your home security stream, but you also won’t have to check your work email.
The only problem with this situation is that many travel apps depend on an internet connection. For those who plan to spend their vacation on an isolated stretch of beach, however, this can pose a problem.
If you plan to be off the grid for a good portion of your trip, check out apps like Aruba’s official travel guide, which can function without an internet connection. St. Thomas has a similar app, plus advanced functionality for when you are connected, such as augmented reality tools and itinerary planning.
It’s rare to find a location-based app that doesn’t demand at least a phone signal, but they are out there.

Go Deeper

You might not be able to take your phone snorkeling and scuba diving with you, but its usefulness doesn’t have to end at water’s edge. Your phone has a lot to offer in terms of helping you plan dives, identifying the many colorful fish you will see while snorkeling, and keeping records of what you encounter down below.
DiveMate USB for Android is a perfect fit for divers of any level, and it makes it easy to transfer information between devices. Advanced divers will find a lifeline in V Planner, an app that can predict gas consumption, weather conditions, and more.

Weather the Storm

Finally, you can stop worrying about whether you’ll have sunny skies for the duration of your getaway by downloading tools that stretch a little further than your iPhone’s weather app. Leading tools include Dark Sky, a rain predictor for the notoriously rainy UK and Ireland (as well as the US), and On The Snow, a great app for avid skiers and snowboarders who want to make sure the slopes are in prime condition.
There are many other travel apps, no matter what your destination may be, so if you don’t find the solution to your vacation planning woes here, don’t worry. A quick skim of the app store is sure to turn up precisely the guide to Greenland’s tundra or outer Mongolia that you’ve been looking for.
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