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News  General

Digital withdrawal symptoms

A study has been performed on groups of individuals where use of mobile phones are banned. Bianchi and Phillips researched behavioural addiction with particular reference to their overuse, and the effects sudden withdrawal can have - an example being an individual being incarcerated.

There are also findings which suggest smartphone dependance can be predicted based on factors such as "gender, mode of residence, chronotype, or depressive state."

This has lead up to the proposal for a new clinical term for the condition described as "the withdrawal effects experienced by the loss of use of a mobile phone": Nomophobia.

Seen today as an essential part of modern life, there are worrying reports of the addiction being so complete even the natural dangers of everyday life are taking second-place to the screeen, such as a woman being killed in a Metro whilst on her smartphone.

News  General
Pills have sensors

The device is the same size as a regular pill

Sensors for body biometrics such as heart rates and temperature have been incorporated to tiny devices which the patient is able to swallow. What is revolutionary about this approach from MIT is how their new one is powered - it uses the body's own natural acid to trigger the same battery effect you have in your car.

Once inside, the device gets to work. Using a wirelessly connected Android or Apple smartphone, constant readings are taken which can both be analysed after a period of time, for trends, or can even trigger alerts itself if the onboard app sees anything it needs to take action about. It is a phone after all, so it could even call the emergency services automatically.

The self-powered pill could thoretically monitor a patients vital signs for weeks. It's only been tested on pigs so far, but scientists are hopeful a human version will follow.

News  General
Phone blindness

Keep an eye out for this one

Alongside selfie elbow, your smartphone has another weapon in its arsenal to attack you with - "Phone Blindness".

This can happen when users look at the screens of their smartphones with one eye for too long in the dark. You might think this is a little far fetched and wonder why anyone would do this, but it turns out many do when lying in bed. With their face on the pillow, these users hold the phone against it also, so they can only see it with one eye.

It can get quite serious too. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, two patients reported a complaint whereby they lost vision for up to 15 minutes at a time over a period of months. After some investigation, it turned out they both were doing the same thing when it happened - looking at their phone in the dark in bed with one eye. 

News  General
Selfie elbow

The smartphone strikes back

When NBC journalist Hoda Kotb visited an orthopaedist complaining of a sore arm, she was asked if she played tennis or ping pong. After telling him no, he dug a little further. Going through her daily routine, he identified the problem as being her habit of taking up to 40 selfies at a time. The repetitive movement, combined with the strain caused by the angle of the raised arm, had led to what is now being recognized as "selfie elbow".

Similar to carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow, the solution seems obvious once it's pointed out - just take less, or get someone else to take the picture.

If it gets too bad the advice is to ice your elbow, do specal exercises and take painkilers to reduce the inflammation.