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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Comfortably numb: how virtual reality can soothe nervous patients

Comfortably numb: how virtual reality can soothe nervous patients | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Virtual reality headsets could soon become a common sight in operating theatres after a groundbreaking experiment in Spain.

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Star Trek’s Tricorders Are Almost Here

Star Trek’s Tricorders Are Almost Here | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

As Star Trek nears its 50th anniversary, most of its imagined technologies remain light years away. But several startups and research projects claim they can approximate the functions of the tricorder, that handheld device used to instantly diagnose a disease or analyze the atmosphere of an alien world. Just how close are they?

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Enrico De Angelis's curator insight, July 5, 2014 4:30 AM
SciFiction (and wizardtech in fantasy) still the best source of ideas for innovation ...!!!
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Why I use Second Life as a therapy tool...

Why I use Second Life as a therapy tool... | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

"There are days where I can’t move my arms or hands too much without risking serious problems. It stops me from painting, drawing, or using polymer clay. But I can still log into Second Life..."

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AranGlezMontero's curator insight, February 19, 2014 1:19 PM

When the game can help yourself ...

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Google[x] Smart Contact Lens Project to Help Monitor Diabetes

Google[x] Smart Contact Lens Project to Help  Monitor Diabetes | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Google [x] is now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears to help monitor diabetes.

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mjonesED's curator insight, January 18, 2014 5:06 PM

I am excited to see these new technology innovations!

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This awesome dad 3-D printed a prosthetic hand for his son

This awesome dad 3-D printed a prosthetic hand for his son | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
3-D printers are one of the coolest pieces of technology available. Part of what makes them so cool is how easily they can improve someone's life.
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robyns tut's curator insight, November 25, 2013 8:45 AM

using technology, that is not specifically aimed at helping people, to give this gift gives hope to the ever growing tecnological age- Justine Pearce

Azam Bata's curator insight, November 29, 2013 11:19 AM

was only a matter of time

 

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Video Game Therapy Used To Help Treat Kids With Chronic Pain

Video Game Therapy Used To Help Treat Kids With Chronic Pain | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. opened a new pain care complex this week which was built to introduce video games as a way to help young patients eliminate chronic pain. The games are specially designed and combined with Microsoft’s Kinect to help young patients improve their health without realizing it as games ask them to paint, play and exercise while doctors are on hand to analyze their range of motion.

Josué Cardona's insight:

Check out the video in the link. It shows how kids are using the intereactive programs and gives a glimpse of the potential of  what this new complex can achieve. The "pod beds" also look very interesting.

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Céline Merchiers's curator insight, May 20, 2013 6:12 PM

This article shows an interesting combination of the hospitals services combined with the use of a special video game in a new pain care complex. This video game is specially designed and combined with Microsoft's Kinect to help young patients improve their health without realizing it while playing the game. The use of ICT in this case gives the patient the opportunity to perform a better range of motion and feeling a greater distraction from their pain.

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A Doctor Hacks His iPhone To Detect A Parasite That Plagues Billions

A Doctor Hacks His iPhone To Detect A Parasite That Plagues Billions | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

While researching victims of intestinal worms in Tanzania, Canadian infectious disease specialist Isaac Bogoch didn’t always have access to a microscope to search for signs of hookworms and other parasites in stool samples. So, he taped an $8 glass lens over his iPhone’s camera, and suddenly had 50 times the magnifying power.


The resulting microscope (iMicroscope?) was able to detect parasite eggs in stool samples with nearly 70% accuracy (the normal microscope gets it right 87% of the time), and was able to detect some worms with up to 80% accuracy.

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'Games keep me mentally active'

'Games keep me mentally active' | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Computer games are increasingly being seen as a way for older people to keep mentally active, as Bryony Mackenzie reports.
Josué Cardona's insight:

Watch as Hilda plays and talks about how 40 years of playing video games (and playing with her 94-year-old aunt) have helped keep her mentally active.

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Nikita Rozum's curator insight, March 17, 2013 10:09 PM

This topic could be very interesting.

Giovanni Benavides's curator insight, March 25, 2013 2:39 AM

Me too, at 50 most of my young patients are shocked to hear I can beat them at HALO, Master Chief. I call it research. Like my social media interest.

Sean Tan's curator insight, May 31, 2013 7:11 PM

Love this!

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Health Insurance Companies Encourage Healthier Living Through Video Games

Health Insurance Companies Encourage Healthier Living Through Video Games | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Insurers and healthcare providers recommend some technology for boosting exercise. In the effort to help to promote living healthier lifestyles, health
Josué Cardona's insight:

It looks like health insurance companies are paying attention to the health potential of games and tech. Lots of potential here.

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iPad game hopes to stop HIV transmission

iPad game hopes to stop HIV transmission | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Play a sedentary video game and live a healthier life? That’s the hope of Yale researchers who are joining the booming health games industry with an iPad application designed to help minority teens learn about HIV prevention strategies.

 

As part of Yale’s Play2Prevent initiative, a group from the School of Medicine conducted focus groups with New Haven teens to gain an understanding common factors and behaviors that affect HIV risk. The findings are guiding the design and content of a new iPad game titled PlayForward: Elm City Stories, which aims to promote better decisions among minority youth. The researchers will conduct a study on the game’s impact HIV transmission rates starting later this year.

 

“The overall goal is to help kids practice skills in the game that will decrease their engagement in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV,” said brief author Lynn Fiellin MED ’96, associate professor of medicine and director of Play2Prevent. “The idea is to build an evidence-based HIV intervention. The game has to be fun and engaging, but it has to accomplish something.”

 

The game involves creating an avatar who goes through a virtual life and makes decisions revolving around risk behaviors, including unprotected sex and drug and alcohol abuse. The player will be able to see how their choices and actions influence later situations and rewind to play out how making another decision could produce a different outcome. Researchers will study the impact of the game among New Haven teens in an 18-24 month clinical trial starting later this year.

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Stephen Aloysius Balas's comment, February 25, 2013 10:30 AM
"Brainwashing" kids to make better choices
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40 hours of playing violent videos actually IMPROVED the sight of young gamers

40 hours of playing violent videos actually IMPROVED the sight of young gamers | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Parents of young children might find it hard to believe, but playing video games could be good for your eyes.

 

Just ten hours of gaming for four weeks dramatically improved the vision of young men and women who as babies were almost blind.

 

After 40 hours of playing a violent video game, they were able to read two extra lines on an eye chart.

 

The simple but effective treatment was devised by Daphne Maurer, of McMaster University in Canada.

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FDA Approved "Digital Pill" Turns Sci-Fi Into Sci-Fact

FDA Approved "Digital Pill" Turns Sci-Fi Into Sci-Fact | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Early in August, the FDA gave its official stamp of approval for a "digital pill" that will help medical professionals track a patient's health from inside the body. Sounding like something dreamed up in the mind of a Hollywood screenwriter – the 1966 classic Fantastic Voyage comes to mind – there's actually a lot more science fact here than science fiction.

 

Created by Proteus Digital Health, the digital pill – which used to bear the moniker "Ingestion Event Marker" but is now simply being referred to as an "ingestible sensor"– was developed as a means of informing doctors when their patients have taken their scheduled medication. Apparently, people not taking their prescribed medications at the right times and in the right dosages is a big problem in the medical industry. Big enough for Proteus to have gone to bat to invent an ingenious method of monitoring pill intake remotely without having to have someone holding the patient's hand.

 

Far from giving doctors the ammunition necessary to reprimand their patients for failing to take their pills at the right time, the information collected will give doctors better insight into developing a medication schedule that's better tailored to the patient's habits. It will also be able to tell doctors how patients are responding to their medications, as well as gathering and transmitting addition information like heart rate, body position and activity level.

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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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Goggles help surgeons ‘see’ tumours

Goggles help surgeons ‘see’ tumours | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

The newly developed goggles allow surgeons to 'see' the cancer cells they need to remove.

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Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder

Phone App Might Predict Manic Episodes In Bipolar Disorder | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

There are smartphone apps for monitoring your diet, your drugs, even your heart. And now a Michigan psychiatrist is developing an app he hopes doctors will someday use to predict when a manic episode is imminent in patients with bipolar disorder.

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Tech Could Treat Bad Eating Behaviors

Tech Could Treat Bad Eating Behaviors | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Scientists and engineers in Europe are embarking on a quest to see if they can change the way young people at risk for becoming obese eat. Key to this will be developing unobtrusive technology that monitors how quickly or slowly a person is eating and guides them toward a healthier pace.

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Robot helps autistic children develop social skills

Robot helps autistic children develop social skills | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Meet Russell. His lack of human emotions makes him an ideal conversation partner for non-communicative kids
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Laura Wiesner's curator insight, December 8, 2013 10:55 PM

This article is talking about how a robot can be able to help develop social skills in autistic children. I think this could be a breakthrough and it could help many autistic children Around the world. If the robots were able to become more well known and cheaper to create,this could be a very helpful tool in dealing with autism For all kids despite financial differences. 

Richard Platt's curator insight, January 11, 2014 10:30 AM

Another use case worth checking out

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Video games take bold step against youth suicide

Video games take bold step against youth suicide | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

There’s a word you’ll never hear in a new program to help children cope with troubling emotions: Suicide.

 

The interactive story — in his travels, a space explorer finds creatures dealing with differing emotions — will be accessible to many children on About Kids Health, the Sick Kids website for families and patients.

 

Emerging research shows that kids do learn and can change behaviour from technology such as videos, says psychologist Patrick McGrath.

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robyns tut's curator insight, October 22, 2013 10:14 AM

Clever invension but I don't think many children will be interested in playing this compared to other popular games such as GTA 5 and many other violent games. - sara

Nolan foote's curator insight, November 12, 2013 1:01 PM

wow kids from ages 5-14 are  committing Suicide behavior from these vidoe games. The games that I used to play were call of duty and these games mess with your head. There as a boy who played call of duty and  in The game when u kill someone they come back to life and he thought that his parents would  come  back to life. And he had shoot them  and they did not come back to life. So whoever play these games stop playing them they mess with you.

robyns tut's curator insight, November 25, 2013 10:03 AM

understanding from oneself and from ones family is defininitely a huge step toward acceptance or cure. If this program gets far I believe that it would be an amazing journey to better well- being for many-Justine Pearce 

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Your health plan – now with video games

Your health plan – now with video games | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Consumers and health experts alike have long tried to make healthy choices seem more palatable by adding a dose of fun. (Think parents sneaking vegetables into their kids’ macaroni and cheese.) Now, companies are getting in on the action, using games to nudge employees in a more healthful direction.


Experts say such game-like health programs can be used to encourage consumers to engage in a wide range of healthy activities—everything from working out to getting flu shots.

Josué Cardona's insight:

Health insurance companies are using gaming innovations to help people stay healthier, and keep costs down. Everybody wins.

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Study: Social Media Helps With Teenage Empathy, Awareness

Study: Social Media Helps With Teenage Empathy, Awareness | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

According to the study, conducted online in January, more than half of teens (55 percent) say social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have made them more aware of the needs of others. This is a huge increase from 2011 when 4 in 10 (44 percent) said their use of social media made them more aware. The study also says 2 in 3 teens (68 percent) agree that the benefits of social media outweigh the risks.

Josué Cardona's insight:

This article contrasts two recent studies on social networking and its effects on teens, highlighting the perceived benefits shown in one study on increased empathy and awareness.

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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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5 More Reasons Video Games Are Actually Good for You

5 More Reasons Video Games Are Actually Good for You | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

This is a follow-up article to a previous piece titled "5 Reasons Video Games Are Actuallly Good for You." The topics and research covered in this article are: Kids Who Play Video Games Are More Creative, Girls Who Play Video Games with Dad are Happier, Video Games Are Better Than Watching TV, Video Games Can Help the Elderly Avoid Serious Falls, and Co-op Gamers Are Less Aggressive.

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Harvard Scientists Create First Cyborg Flesh

Harvard Scientists Create First Cyborg Flesh | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
Lines between man and machine blur as Harvard bioengineers develop cybernetic tissue.

 

A bioengineering team at Harvard University has created the world's first hybrid of living cells and electronic components. Neurons, muscle cells, and blood vessels (taken from rats) were been spliced with nanowires and transistors that can monitor bioelectric impulses, and researchers predict subtle variations in the technology will let them control cellular behavior.

 

"It allows one to effectively blur the boundary between electronic, inorganic systems and organic, biological ones," team leader Charles Lieber told NewScientist. While these first cyborg tissues are functionally limited, it could reportedly be applied for drug testing, construction of pacemaker-type implants and prosthetics, or even neural observation and medical nano-robotics.

Now, as a rule of thumb, the crazier a potential application of cyborg tech sounds, the less likely we'll see it implemented in the foreseeable future. But the concept of lab-grown "organs-on-a-chip" - whole cybernetically interwoven human organs to obviate human- and animal-test subjects - apparently isn't too many years away.

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Nanoengineers can print 3-D microstructures in mere seconds

Nanoengineers can print 3-D microstructures in mere seconds | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it

Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel technology that can fabricate, in mere seconds, microscale three dimensional (3D) structures out of soft, biocompatible hydrogels.

 

Near term, the technology could lead to better systems for growing and studying cells, including stem cells, in the laboratory. Long-term, the goal is to be able to print biological tissues for regenerative medicine. For example, in the future, doctors may repair the damage caused by heart attack by replacing it with tissue that rolled off of a printer.

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Game-Like Therapy Helps Kids with ADHD Without Drugs

Game-Like Therapy Helps Kids with ADHD Without Drugs | Geek Therapy | Scoop.it
It looks like a noisy video game, but it’s actually a new ADHD therapy that is helping 11-year-old Adam Solomon train his brain.

 

Adam was in danger of having to go on ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) medication. His family didn’t want that to happen, but his mother Diane Solomon said Adam’s condition was going from bad to worse.

 

Desperate, they tried something different: an innovative treatment from Camarillo-based Hardy Brain Training called Interactive Metronome.

 

The program tries to improve that brain timing and rhythm through a computer program. Patients hear a tone and have to clap their hands or tap their foot to match the beat. The screen gives instant feedback on how well they are keeping up. As their coordination improves, so does their concentration.

 

Adam’s parents say he showed a remarkable difference after he trained on the program for a summer, and they were able to streamline him into a regular classroom for the first time in his life.

After a few more years of training, he tested into the gifted program at Johns Hopkins University.

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Stephen Aloysius Balas's comment, February 25, 2013 10:30 AM
Video games used as medical treatment
Stephen Aloysius Balas's comment, February 25, 2013 10:30 AM
Video games used as medical treatment
Stephen Aloysius Balas's comment, February 25, 2013 10:30 AM
Video games used as medical treatment