Have An Addiction? There’s An App For That!
As smartphones become more and more a part of our daily lives, programmers are continually coming up with new applications to assist us with our everyday activities. For those struggling with a drug or alcohol dependency, there are now new smartphone applications that aim to help people deal with the daily challenges they face with their addictions.
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a ground breaking technology that claims to detect periods during an addict’s day when they are most likely to succumb to drug or alcohol use. In response to these detections, the application provides an immediate, digital intervention.
The application, called iHeal, is programmed with an intricate algorithm that aims to comprehend and accurately predict when an addict is most likely to experience a craving to use drugs or alcohol. This is done, over time, by collecting personal, user data collected from a wrist band that is worn in conjunction with the application. This wrist band measures and records factors such as body motion and skin temperature that can help accurately predict a user’s cravings.
Once a craving is detected, the application will offer personalized multimedia support. This could come in the form of a soothing song, inspirational message, sponsor contact information or other, similar assistance. Over time, the application will begin to personalize its responses even more to help an addict cope with their desire to use drugs or alcohol.
Keeping Track Of Sobriety
There are many other benefits to using this new technology, as well. For example, within the application users can keep track of their sobriety by keeping track of how many days they have been clean. The application will also keep track of your location, and can even detect when you are somewhere that you are likely to use at. Another goal developers of this application wanted to install was a social media mechanism where users can interact with each other and offer daily support. This will remind users of the application that they are not alone in their recovery.
This new application can also offer up suggestions of what to do when you are faced with a craving to use drugs or alcohol. It can quickly let you know where the closest AA meeting is located and give you directions and contact information. The application can keep track of your meeting attendance and keep detailed track of your recovery progress. This lets users see, every day, the strides they are making in their recovery. This new technology could be a revolutionary tool in the fight against personal addiction.
As with any new technology, there are still kinks that need to be worked out. The feedback mechanism in the wrist band will have to better figure out how to overcome biosensor issues to perform optimally. Also, many users may not like the fact that you must wear a wrist monitor for the application to properly work. The ultimate goal is that the application will be able to accurately predict when a user is most likely to experience a craving, and then offer the user’s preferred method of support. In the ever changing world of drug recovery, this new instrument could be vital in helping recovering addicts, who have grown up in the age when our phones are glued to our hips, control their addictions more successfully.