Being sick is never fun no matter what age you are, so isn't it time we started making it easier for children unfortunate enough to be going through illness? Some experts have a lot of faith in hope as a healer and there have been cases where people have recovered better because they've had a lighter time of it. Children's hospitals regularly invest in entertainment for the children they're treating, and it isn't for nothing.
So what about the future of children's health technology – is there more to come? And what's already out there to teach - and entertain - your children with regards to health?
Leading the way in making health tech fun for kids is the Finnish tech company, MOZ. Designing a range of custom tech based on the popular Angry Birds game series, MOZ's creations aim to make health devices more accessible for the children who need to use them. The devices themselves teach independence and allow children to play a more exciting part in managing their own health, but it can also relieve some of the anxiety – whether the child's or the parent's - that may come with having to make those checks. It can also be helpful in teaching other children why the device is needed.
There are other kid-friendly wearables out there, and there are several apps and games aimed specifically at children. The question is, though – could we be doing more?
There is a problem, though, in that there is a lingering distrust hovering around technology. Many parents do not like the idea of their children becoming too involved in the Internet and their fears can sometimes be justified. The Internet is an excellent source of information and entertainment for children and it's actually something that could be utilised more. Most sites about children's health are aimed at the parents rather than the children themselves but it's likely that, moving forward, this could change. With Internet access becoming an increasingly important part of day-to-day life it's likely that more and more children will migrate online to seek their own health information. Imagine fun games, for example, that could teach your kids to think more about putting on sun cream or brushing their teeth!
Health tech for kids has a long way to go yet, and there are certainly hurdles, such as safety issues, that need to be crossed before we reach a place where it is as useful as it could be. But the work by companies like MOZ needs to be recognized, and it's important that – in our increasingly online world – we begin to identify the positives that could result from a more interconnected health world for children.