Can technology provide solutions for long-term isolation?

Technology is playing a big role in the battle against the coronavirus. Big data is being used to comprehend the virus’ genetic tree, and machine learning models are being used to analyze therapies. Technology can also help in an individual way by helping to fight anxiety, depression and stress – all of which have been exacerbated during the global health crisis. How is technology making life a bit easier for those who are alone in this unique time in history?

Tele-medicine works

For those who are battling the pandemic alone at home, health worries can make anxiety and stress worse. Telemedicine can help by attending to both mental and physical health needs, with health professionals advising callers regarding whether or not a hospital visit is advised. A study published in the journal Respiratory Medicine found that telemedicine can help improve cognitive function and quality of life in people with respiratory disease, for instance.

(TOP: Photo by Annie Spratt).

Another study published in the World Journal of Psychiatry found that telemedicine for psychiatry “is comparable to face-to-face care on several aspects of what is traditionally considered effectiveness.” By having concerns attended to quickly, individuals can avoid entering into an anxious state.

 Video conferencing software and gaming

Software such as Zoom, Skype and Google Meets is making it easier for individuals to communicate with large work and social groups, and their use has boomed during the COVID-19 lockdown. Google has stepped up to the game during the crisis, offering free meets lasting an hour (Zoom offers 40 minutes), with a maximum of 100 participants. Around 300 million new users have been signing up to Zoom since COVID-19, indicating people’s interest in technologies that foster human connection. Gaming during COVID-19 can motivate you to stay in contact with others as well. Games like Fortnite, Minecraft and Roblox have helped kids and adults alike stay in touch with friends while enjoying a welcome distraction. New technologies such as VR headsets, meanwhile, are making the player experience more realistic than ever.

Free online courses

Many online learning institutions – including Oxford University and the University of Texas Arlington — are offering free classes on everything from history to science. For kids, the Khan Academy is an excellent online resource that covers both core and extra-curricular subjects. These courses entertain and occupy time, and they are backed by forums for distance learning students that include subject-specific and social boards for those wishing to get to know fellow students.

Having fun with Alexa

If you’ve always been fascinated by smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, know that many people find them to be highly entertaining, since they help users find that they want while also answering questions on everything from local services to how to cure a cold. Just tell Alexa you wish to ask a question, and see how it responds in a number of popular categories – including topics like animals, climate, film and TV, gastronomy, sociology, history, books, streamed musical events, sports and video games.

During the COVID-19 crisis, many people who live alone have been cut off from traditional social connections in an abrupt way. Technology has stepped in to keep human beings closer together, thanks to live video conferencing and online learning. Of course, time alone can be put to good use by fostering learning. Make it easy by using Alexa as your personal tutor.


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