Geek Therapy
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Geek Therapy
How Geek Culture is saving the world. Can geeky, nerdy, and techy things help heal the world? Absolutely. | For the Geek Therapy Podcast and more, visit http://www.geektherapy.com.
Curated by Josué Cardona
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Could This App Treat Depression?

Could This App Treat Depression? | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Diego Pizzagalli spent a good chunk of 10 years at Harvard doing what most professors at elite institutions do: research. Specifically, research on depression. He's fMRI'd and EEG'd a lot of gray matter, but most of his work got stuck in the lab and never evolved into any real-world application. Then he developed something that was too good to let collect dust in the hallowed halls of academia: software that he says could help treat depression.

Now with the help of the Baltimore-based startup incubator Canterbury Road Partners, Pizzagalli is set to turn his lab invention into an app. MoodTune will be a series of simple games that when played regularly, can help treat depression, Pizzagalli and his colleagues say. Turn on the app for 15 minutes a day, play through some games, and maybe it could help. Maybe, they say, in some cases, it'd be all a depressed person would need. Could something that simple actually work?

 

When MoodTune is out, this is how it'll work: You'll open the app and be directed to a simple game (there are "six or seven" games so far Konig says.) The images you see here are from the prototype, but the final version will probably be similar. Here's the example Pizzagalli gave of a game that could be used for a "workout." A face appears onscreen. The user--or patient, depending on your thoughts about the app--looks at the face as words flash above it: "Happy." "Happy." "Sad." "Happy." The user gets slammed with some serious cognitive dissonance as they try to reconcile the faces and words. After the user is done, he gets a review of his score for the game, as well as his overall progress in treatment.

 

An exercise like that can cause certain parts of the brain to work overtime, Pizzagalli says. It's enough, he says, to give certain parts of the brain a "tune-up" and enough, apparently, when done for 15 minutes every day, to counteract some of the symptoms of depression.

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Elisenda Turró's curator insight, March 13, 2013 5:02 PM

Una innovadora eina, que pot ser no és tant específica per fer front a la depressió, però si demostra la importància de la estimulació cognitiva com a eix potencial de treball.

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Health and Wellness Apps for Kids Promoting Healthier Living

Health and Wellness Apps for Kids Promoting Healthier Living | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Now, healthcare professionals and tech companies are attempting to promote healthier living among children and help those children who are sick cope with their illnesses.

 

When it comes to getting kids to eat healthier, there are several tools that can help. Food N’ Me is an interactive website that aims to promote healthy eating among children. Also within the category of helping children eat healthy is ZisBoomBah, which offers online educational games to help children and parents learn about food in a fun way. KidsDental aims to teach children about basic tooth care by using Pixar-like animated characters.

 

Technology is also encouraging children to get active. Work It Off is an Android app that teaches children how they can work off the calories they ingest. Trainer is a game developed by a group of students from The University of Southern California... The goal of the game is to give children the opportunity to discover and share health information. iOS app MotionMaze is a puzzle game powered by movement. 

 

Tech companies are also attempting to improve children’s health for those affected with illness. Jerry the Bear, aims to help children with Type 1 diabetes manage their illness using a teddy bear embedded with hardware, AI and accompanying software. The Pain Squad Mobile App collects data on the child’s pain so it could be more effectively managed.

 

Clearly, the way in which the world is approaching the topic of children’s health is a revolution in progress. Technology is encouraging children to eat right, be active and take ownership of their health. However, getting children to actually adopt, continuously use and enjoy these types of educational digital experiences may prove to be the biggest challenge.

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Georgie App For The Blind Helps Visually Impaired Android Users Navigate Everyday Life

Georgie App For The Blind Helps Visually Impaired Android Users Navigate Everyday Life | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Whether it is getting off a bus or reading a menu, a new app aims to make life easier for the blind or visually impaired.

 

Called Georgie, the app for Android devices enables people with little or no sight to accomplish daily activities that could be difficult for them.

 

The app can make calls or send texts but it also provides location-based technologies, which can let users know, for example, when the next bus is coming, which direction they're facing, or the ability to set location-based reminders.

 

"You can actually record a GPS-tagged voice label to say ‘dangerous steps' and as you're approaching it the phone will tell you that there are dangerous steps there," explained Alan Dean Kemp, the chief technology officer. Kemp added that the app is not meant to replace a seeing-eye dog, but to provide added assistance.

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Mobile App Helps Service Members Adjust to Life After Combat

The Department of Defense recently announced the release of a mobile application that helps service members reacclimate to life at home after returning from combat deployments.

 

Positive Activity Jackpot, developed by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology, uses augmented reality with a smart phone’s GPS to help find nearby activities and diversions for someone accustomed to the high tempo of combat life.

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Kouply: This mobile game might just save your marriage

Kouply: This mobile game might just save your marriage | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

This free app for iPhone, Windows Phone and the web turns your relationship into a game — letting you and your significant other award points to each other as positive reinforcement for those seriously sweet gestures.

 

Kouply is a moonlight project from two Seattle-area software engineers and a designer — three guys looking to make at least a tiny dent in the divorce rate by encouraging behavior that has a positive effect on relationships.

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A Speech Therapy App For Learning How To Express Colors

RWH Technology has released an update for SpeakColorsHD, a speech therapy app designed to help children with special needs, such as autism or Down syndrome, learn how to speak simple sentences using colors and photos of objects.
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SuperBetter Shifts Focus To Strengthening Players’ Mental Health

SuperBetter Shifts Focus To Strengthening Players’ Mental Health | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

San Francisco-based startup SuperBetter Labs is shifting the focus of its namesake social game to focus on strengthening mental resiliency, a decision that coincides with the release of its iPhone app and launch of clinical trials.

 

In its work to utilize “the science of personal and social well-being,” SuperBetter is hoping to partner with large hospital groups and health organizations for distribution and potentially employee care. On the consumer side, it says an Android app is in demand and under consideration for the future.

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Using The iPhone’s Front-Facing Camera, Cardiio Measures Your Heartrate

Using The iPhone’s Front-Facing Camera, Cardiio Measures Your Heartrate | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Enter Cardiio, a startup and graduate of the Rock Health incubator. Founded by a team of Ph.Ds out of MIT’s Media Lab, the company has built a $4.99 heart rate monitoring app that doesn’t require you to touch the iPhone’s camera. It actually doesn’t require any contact aside from holding the phone so that the front-facing camera captures your face. From that, Cardiio’s sensors can pick up minute changes in the color of your face that indicate heart rate.

 

“We can measure the amount of light reflected across your face,” said co-founder Ming-Zher Poh. “The more blood that flows into your face, the more it absorbs light. This is reflected off your face every time your heart beats and the camera is actually good enough to pick it up.”

 

Like other heart-rate monitoring apps, Cardiio does long-term tracking so you can see how your resting heart rate has changed over the past month or more. It also can compare you to the population average.

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5 Ways to Instantly Connect With Doctors

5 Ways to Instantly Connect With Doctors | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

New mobile health apps are springing up to save the day — connecting doctors on standby with patients who need them the most.

 

We’ve rounded up five medical apps and websites that connect users directly to doctors. With tele-health apps, patients can call, text or privately message licensed physicians online for immediate help. Patients have an instant connection to knowledgable specialists. This industry won’t replace primary care physicians, but it will come in handy when sudden sickness strikes.

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The Perfected Self: Behavioral Technology and the unlikely comeback of B.F. Skinner's Ideas

The Perfected Self: Behavioral Technology and the unlikely comeback of B.F. Skinner's Ideas | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Behavioral technology allows users to gradually and permanently alter all kinds of behavior, from reducing their energy use to controlling their spending. Now, with the help of our iPhones and a few Facebook friends, we can train ourselves to lead healthier, safer, eco-friendlier, more financially secure, and more productive lives.

 

Ironically, this high-tech behavioral revolution is rooted in the work of a mid-century psychologist once maligned as morally bankrupt, even fascist. But the rise of social media has reoriented our societal paranoias, and more and more people are incorporating his theories into their daily lives. As a result, psychology’s most misunderstood visionary may finally get his due.

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What are therapy apps?

What are therapy apps? | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

A group of scientists are now planning to develop an app for smartphones that allows users instant access to psychological therapy on the go. They have been testing simple programs that follow the video game format to see if the process would really work in relieving people of common anxiety and depression. Since the results were encouraging, they now want to develop those same programs into sophisticated apps for Android users.

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