I spoke with futurist, innovation thought-leader and founder Jeremiah Owyang recently about his company Kaleido Insights‘ work in the field of modern well being.
Modern social technology has been both a blessing and a curse to us. It connects us to each other in ways previously unimaginable but has also caused afflictions and addictions that impact each and every one of us. Technology addictions are causing us to burn out, sleep less, suffer from higher rates of depression, and even negatively impact the relationships that mean the most. Think about how our phones often put our own children in competition with them for our attention.
But we also have the power to leverage these innovative technologies to help us manage the stress of modern life and create the best versions of ourselves.
As Latinas we are avid tech users, voracious video consumers and social trendsetters. It’s only natural then that we would be at the forefront of embracing technology to live our best lives. Here’s some of the key trends of Kaleido Insights research uncovered into modern well being and the opportunities for growth.
Self Management of our Health
Today, more than ever we have the power to self-diagnose and hack our own health. This goes way beyond looking up symptoms on WebMd, we now have the ability to research our own genetics and even find out the health of our microbiome through simple at home tests and swabs that can test the bacteria in your gut and then identify the best balance of foods in your diet to improve your gut health and digestion.
Tech companies are also helping us self manage our health with the use of apps, the apple watch, and other monitors that track various functions ranging from heart rate to sleep. Apple recently announced its new watch that tracks your heart for irregularities in heartbeat and is also FDA approved.
We also see tech companies such as Apple helping us manage our FOMO through the introduction of features that limit alerts and notifications and help us better regulate our sleep with do not disturb. Google is launching similar features for its new android phone.
These days its important to find new ways to balance our moods, escape from the incessant alerts and ride out our FOMO because everyone else’s social media lives are so great! Mood shaping is one area of wellness that can help and that has been steadily increased in popularity. Practices such as meditation take their inspiration from ancient eastern cultures. I am a diehard follower of Deepak and Oprah’s 21 day guided meditations, which combine guided meditation teachings with a daily mantra. For those who want a more steady practice try Calm for a restful sleep or Headspace to improve your mindfulness. Also a regular practice of gratitude will do wonders for your mood and help you turn your FOMO into JOMO. I use the Five minute Journal app to document what I am thankful for on a daily basis and give myself daily positive affirmations.
New trends in mood shaping go beyond tech into the use of substances such as Chinese herbs, microdosing, which is in vogue these days in Silicon Valley and even marijuana products such as the Dosist vape pen that comes in different mood shaping flavors such as bliss, sleep, relief or even passion!
Connecting and Community
We know that as a group, Latinas love to share and connect with each other and our community. Nowadays there are so many apps and even smart products that allow us to not only track our own health, but to stay accountable by connecting us to our communities. My Fitness Pal tracks food intake and exercise through a daily diary, which I’m told is good for tracking to goals and also reflecting back your bad habits such as too much chocolate and vino. But one of the key features is the ability to connect to with other friends through Facebook or your contacts, which will keep you accountable and transparent in your sharing if you dare.
Another cool recent purchase I made was in the Hidrate Spark smart water bottle. You can program your desired water intake and the water bottle will actually remind you when you need to take a drink by glowing, the app also sends push notifications motivating you to stay hydrated. Similar to MyFitnessPal, you can also check to see how you stack up against your friends and make a fun competition out of who is staying the most hydrated.
Corporate Wellness Programs
Another trend we see evolving and becoming more mainstream is the incorporation of health and wellness into company culture. More and more these days, companies are understanding that the health and wellbeing of their employees can also have a positive impact on bottom line through less sick days and better mental outlook. Companies are also realizing that these perks help incentivize those new hires and contribute to an overall better work culture.
Some companies that are leveraging their technology into these corporate wellness programs include Me Tyme Network founded by one of our featured geeks, Remy Meraz which is a game-changing emotional health platform developed to improve employee morale and productivity. Through short videos shot by mental health experts, employees can regain a sense of sanity and calm when facing tough emotional issues on the job or at home, these bite size snippets offer helpful tips for overcoming the challenge what ever it may be.
Another super cool tech company addressing emotional wellbeing on the job is VR company, called Happinss VR, the first virtual reality platform to foster mindfulness and contemplation in the workplace with visual data analytics, creating powerful immersive experiences. The company regularly hosts Happinss Day which are pop-up shops that allow employees to enjoy a day to use this innovative corporate wellness tool for relaxation and be transported to magical and peaceful locations for the day.
Getting Rewarded for Being Healthy
When we engage in our health and wellness, everyone wins. A future trend that Kaleido Insights has seen starting to take shape is getting rewarded to be healthy. In Russia, you can catch a free ride on the subway for doing 30 squats in under 2 minutes. And future companies will pay you to be healthy, one blockchain company has already gotten started. It’s called Clinicoin, and is an open source wellness platform that rewards users with cryptocurrency for engaging in healthy activities. Leveraged by a blockchain-based ecosystem, the platform is designed to connect people, developers, and providers, worldwide, improving global health, wellness, and research. Expect to see more initiatives like these coming out of insurance companies, medical centers and more in the future.
Thanks to Jeremiah and team for this amazing work and research and check out the full infographic below! We could all benefit from making technology work better for us rather than as social couch potatoes!