Technology is certainly moving forward at a rapid pace. While smartphones are still just as popular as ever, “wearables” are also becoming quite trendy with tech consumers. These can include everything from iWatches to Fitbits and, interestingly enough, they are gaining even more traction within the recovery industry. Because of their discretionary nature, these wearables have shown success in helping people to privately avoid relapses.
Forbes recently called out some of this latest success, highlighting how items like these can help addicted people work through vulnerable moments. Their article broke down several categories where these wearables can really make a difference.
The first call out, which we mentioned above, has to do with discretion. Sadly Forbes correctly points out that more than half of all Americans feel that there is a stigma associated with addictions. For those who do, wearables can help to keep things private. Through specialized apps (such as Lucid Lane, which was mentioned in the article) these devices can send quiet alerts and counseling support, which can be accessed by simple swiping up on your watch. And truth be told, examining your wearable is much more subtle than pulling out your phone or having a large browser tab open on your laptop.
Another great function that wearables provide is their ability to biometrically monitor a person’s heart rate. This plays right into the relapse dangers and items like an iWatch or Fitibit can send out notices if there are abnormalities in a person’s rhythms. They can also flag stress indicators, working as a prevention tool if a person going through a difficult episode and perhaps more tempted to use.
Believe it or not, geography is another component that makes these devices successful for recovery patients. Thanks to GPS coordinates and apps tied to Google maps, a wearable can indicate how close you may be to a hospital or a support group, if a crisis situation were to emerge. They can also be programmed to dial 911 or your designated treatment counselor directly, depending on how urgent your need is.
Forbes writer Adnan Asar goes on to conclude that while wearables aren’t an end all solution when it comes to recovery, they can definitely be useful tools in overcoming these types of battles. “Studies have shown that the use of apps and wearable tech in ongoing rehab treatment improves patient outcomes,” he writes. “And while there is no substitute for rehabilitation counseling, technology — especially wearables and discreet apps — can help people struggling with addiction work through vulnerable moments and potentially reduce the odds of relapse.”