When I started my practice in March of 2017, I found myself having extra time and flexibility to explore the happenings outside of my field. I have chosen a career in Behavior Analysis, but also hold interests in music, investing, and innovative technologies; and yes, earlier this year joined the Blockchain movement. Anyway, as I explored these other areas, I kept the work that I do, supporting children with special needs, in the back of my mind. Working with children, I know just how valuable time is. Their brain is developing at an exponential rate and it is important that we create stimulating experiences that are both individualized and high quality. So, in this blog, I wanted to share with you what the tech world is bringing to the table and how this can enhance the support we provide as caregivers, educators, and healthcare providers.
Let’s start with the world renowned Exponential Medicine Conference. Just typing the name and reflecting back on this past year’s conference held in November, gives me all the good feels! If you visit their website you’ll read that Exponential Medicine is a unique and intensive four-day experience that gathers world-class faculty, innovators and organizations from across the biomedical and technology spectrum to explore and leverage the convergence of fast moving technologies in the reinvention of health and medicine, I couldn’t have said it better myself. To give you a better idea, physicians, engineers, neuroscientists, and business leaders take to the main stage to discuss topics like ‘AI & Robotics,’ ‘Digital Biology,’ and ‘Bringing Healthcare Systems into the Future,’ to name just a few. While attending this conference in-person is costly, the main stage presentations are live streamed at no cost during the 4-day conference.
In 2016, Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh gave an interesting talk on The Future of Psychiatry and Mental Health, which I highly recommend watching (Duration: 15-minutes). It was during his talk that I discovered Brain Power, the world’s first smart-glass system for children and adults with autism. Using Google Glass with the Empower Me system, individuals with autism are able to learn practical life skills, such as making eye contact and identifying various emotions. I have had the opportunity to use this technology with the clients I serve and its gamified style made it an instant hit! Motivation was captured from the start, with my client’s wanting to unlock cartoon faces and gold stars for attending to the speaker/listener’s face when having a conversation.
I think sometimes we get caught up in the work we are doing that we tend to put up blinders to what others are discovering in their respective fields. In service to keeping these blogs short and sweet, as I know time is precious, I’ll stop here. However, feel free to reach out if you would like to keep the conversation going; and if you’re interested in learning about more innovative technologies check out the work that Akili and iMotions are doing!
Until next month, take care :)
“The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones.”
–John Maynard Keynes