The Impact of Technology on Individual Health and Well-Being

By Jeffrey A. Raver, SAIC

Imagine being in a highly stressful environment where you must remain calm, maintain situational awareness, and make real-time decisions based on highly complex information. Now imagine you are simply looking for ways to improve your health and personal performance.  New techniques and technologies are rapidly changing to help you achieve these goals and improve your chances of success.

By combining biofeedback and human performance training, sports psychologists are teaching strategies used by high-performing athletes to others who are in stressful environments, such as warfighters. This approach provides the data and tactics that training participants need to understand their personal state of mind and well-being and manage their mental and emotional states. It also equips them with the knowledge to assess a challenge quickly and to execute a course of action with confidence and composure.

Serious gaming technology and virtual and augmented reality are also gaining acceptance as highly immersive, adaptive environments in which to train and condition warfighters and others to perform optimally under stress. Gaming combines technologies, methods, cross-channel processes, and multimedia integration to introduce skills, problem-solving, and strategy development. It allows players to master tasks in a safe, no-consequence, and engaging environment that helps them learn faster and retain information longer.

Under a pilot program being conducted by technology integrator Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), augmented and virtual reality are combined with biomedical feedback, human performance enhancement, and serious games to create innovative training environments. These conditions efficiently and effectively train students to operate at an increased level of performance, optimize stress levels, and achieve the greatest training benefit. SAIC has expertise in all of these areas and provides training services and solutions primarily to customers in the U.S. federal government.

Data Analytics Impact Outcomes

SAIC’s cloud computing expertise also enables the delivery of distributed learning solutions that integrate interacti
ve multimedia instruction and course content over the web on a variety of devices. The aim is to provide high-quality training, anywhere and anytime, allowing learners to choose when, where, and how to train based on their personal preferences. One example is an augmented reality game the company created to provide first aid training to first responders.

All of these capabilities have implications with the Internet of Things because they can require devices, sensors, and applications that transmit data over communication networks in real time. The need to quickly collect and analyze data is paramount. Through IT strategy and business transformation processes, cloud and data center engineering, data management services, analytics, and proactive cyber practice, SAIC enables efficient and timely training and decision-making through rapid access to data in a secure environment that provides critical insights to individual health and well-being.

Technology Is Not Enough

These technologies, capabilities, and innovations are easily transferable to the federal health IT market space to help individuals, leaders, and healthcare providers more effectively achieve their goals. But there is more to it than expert capability and technical competency. The proliferation of data over the Internet raises privacy concerns.

What are the implications of people voluntarily giving up their rights to privacy to access specialized training or traceable health information? Could this information be compromised and used in negative ways? If so, what kinds of detrimental consequences could this have on individual health decisions people make? A cybersecurity simulator, such as the one designed by SAIC to train cyber warriors in an integrated fashion, is one possible way to explore questions of this nature.

In conjunction with other health IT industry leaders, SAIC is poised to delve into these types of personal privacy issues, as well as create and integrate innovative tools and strategies to enhance individual health and well-being.

 

About the Author: Jeffrey A. Raver is the Vice President/Director of Education and Training Services for Science Applications International Corporation. In this role, Raver manages a team of 750 instructors and training analysts delivering training worldwide to every branch of the military, numerous federal and state agencies, and a variety of commercial customers. Raver has more than 27 years of experience in the design and development of innovative and immersive training solutions for complex problems, including the application of technology and data analytics to increase training efficiency and effectiveness. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology from The Catholic University of America and a Master of Science degree in systems engineering from George Washington University.

SAIC® is a premier technology integrator providing full life cycle services and solutions in the technical, engineering, intelligence, and enterprise information technology markets. SAIC provides systems engineering and integration offerings for large, complex projects. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, SAIC has approximately 15,000 employees and annual revenues of about $4.3 billion.

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