Freeman Cebu Business

Neuroscience: Purpose-driven

FULL DISCLOSURE - Fidel Abalos - The Freeman

Undeniably, technology has advanced exponentially that it influenced hugely the way we live.  Then, in the advent of computers, owners of mid-sized and large companies rushed in to buy that era’s top of the line. In terms of growth, most of them left the complacent ones behind as they got the benefits of having them. Deciding timely and appropriately. 

Decades later, the internet came into being. It was something revolutionary then, a game changer. Can you still recall that day in the late 70s when the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) were first introduced in the country? Had it not been for the internet, we would still be queuing for our turn in the specific branch we have our account to deposit or withdraw. So inconvenient, isn’t it. 

However, if you ponder a bit, technology in such era was focused more on business-related activities. At such point in our lives, both computers and internet simply changed the way people work or do business. Not much on the way people live. So that, those without businesses, or are not working with huge companies and those almost penniless cannot relate to it.

Today, things are different. Everything we do has some traces or influence of technology.  Almost everything we need is just fingertips away through our smartphones. Yes, smartphone technology must be one of the most influential technology so far that have pervasive impact in our lives.  Such technology though isn’t complete without the apps. 

Through these apps, we can buy almost everything online. We can work from home, meet friends and co-workers and attend classes virtually. With it, we can now find a way to be in a place we wish to go at a much shorter time via “Waze.” Through google maps, navigating to a previously unvisited place has become so easy. When travelling, hotel reservations and flight bookings are no longer challenging. Same with visiting a country with a different language, translator apps are also available.

Kids (the digital natives) too have changed the way they indulge in sports. Most of them are now playing at the comforts of their rooms with their smartphones. Though so awkward to see, some churchgoers (mostly, the millennials) are no longer bringing their bibles with them. Through a good number of apps, the Holy Scripture is always with them 24/7.

Still, the social media apps cannot be outdone. If not for the apps, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram won’t exist. Notably, the best sources that citizens get real-time updates of everything that’s happening (good and bad) across the globe. So pervasive that according to Reuters Institute Digital News Report, “almost 70% of today’s global population access information through either email, social media, smartphone apps, or the online news outlets, leaving only about 30% to the traditional, mainstream media.”

However, fake news and hacks obtain. So that, it is not all good as far as these apps are concerned. Unlike these apps, however, there is a new development that is really 100% good. That’s neuroscience. Notably, there are more than twenty start-ups that are making headways these days. Elon Musk’s Neuralink is one of them. If successful, it shall be a huge breakthrough as Musk claimed that “it can be used to treat a myriad of conditions, including paralysis, blindness, and depression.” 

Other remarkable start-ups include those that would regain mobility like that of Synchron’s. Its “device passes through cerebral blood vessels, allowing it to implant in the brain and allow patients direct brain control of mobility-assistive devices.”

The insomniacs can also find some relief from “Dreem” as it helps people monitor their sleep with a head-mounted wearable that uses EEG electrodes to analyze brain activity. The company’s “bone conduction technology” emits subtle sounds intended to enhance the quality of sleep. 

To the women, there is “Ava.” A fertility tracker, “it helps women monitor their ovulation cycle, quality of sleep, stress levels, and heart rate.”

With these innovations and several others that may come in the future, the innovators and their country’s economy will surely benefit. More importantly, however, this is an innovation where mankind will totally benefit. 

Truly, not just app-driven but purpose-driven.

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