Recently, we interacted with Dr. Aakanksha Gupta is a Doctor, Educationist & Business enthusiast.
Here are the interview highlights:
1. Mental health is a growing concern among Gen Z. How can technology, such as mental health apps or virtual support platforms, be integrated into preventive healthcare initiatives to address the mental well-being of students?
There is definitely a growing concern among Gen Z when it comes to mental health, and I think technology is quite empowering in this regard. For instance, if mental health apps and virtual support platforms include advanced features such as effective remote counselling, mood tracking, meditation exercises, and relaxation techniques, then their integration into preventive healthcare initiatives (that address the mental well-being of students) gets easy and also effective. There are indeed some apps and platforms that offer such features, but work still needs to be done in terms of informative content and community-building features for awareness and destigmatisation.
2. How can accessibility technologies, such as assistive devices and inclusive user interfaces, be integrated into healthcare services to cater to individuals with disabilities effectively?
To address the needs of individuals with disabilities, it is quite important to integrate accessibility technologies into healthcare services. For example, if I talk about advanced technologies such as brain-computer interfaces, they help people with paralysis to communicate. Telehealth platforms help improve remote access to healthcare. And then there are inclusive user interfaces and machine learning algorithms as well that help optimise personalised healthcare plans.
Now, to integrate such technologies into healthcare services, I believe, collaboration between healthcare professionals and technology developers is of utmost significance. It will not only be conducive to the evolution of new technologies such as these but also help nurture a positively inclusive healthcare environment.
3. What role do you see educational technology (EdTech) playing in enhancing healthcare education within schools, and are there specific EdTech tools or platforms you find particularly promising?
There is no denying that educational technology (EdTech) helps make the learning experiences of students dynamic, interactive, and personalised. Students get to hone their practical skills in an environment that is largely free of risks, owing to applications such as AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) that we particularly use at Bachpan and AHPS Group of Schools. Furthermore, there is an LMS (Learning Management System) as well that empowers educators in the context of content delivery and contemporariness. The role of EdTech is thus immense in enhancing healthcare education as much as within schools. EdTech tools and platforms such as ‘Complete Anatomy’ are specifically promising.
4. In the context of remote and hybrid learning environments, how can technology be leveraged to remotely monitor the health and well-being of students, especially focusing on preventive measures?
In my view, there is a proactive role that technology can play in remotely monitoring the health and well-being of students. Health tracking apps and wearable devices, for example, can help gather real-time data on the physical activity, stress levels, and sleep patterns of students, making way for early intervention and preventive measures if need be. Also, the presence of virtual mental health platforms and chatbots is conducive to providing immediate psychological support to students. Technology is now even facilitating remote health screenings, making sure that it is possible for educational institutions to take care of the overall health of their students at any point in time.
5. Teachers play a crucial role in student well-being. How can technology be harnessed to provide mental health support specifically tailored for teachers, considering the unique stressors they face?
This is a great thought. We often tend to neglect the well-being of teachers when they play such an integral role in the well-being of students. Devising teacher-focused mental health apps and virtual support groups and forums can actually help equip teachers with stress management and mindfulness techniques as well as encourage them to share their experiences. Also, AI can help teachers maintain a healthy work-life balance by analysing their particular work patterns and stressors and offering them customised recommendations. Taking care of the mental well-being of teachers this way is sure to impact the entire school community positively.
6. How can mobile health apps and other digital tools be utilized to engage communities and provide ongoing support, fostering a continuous dialogue around health?
Push notifications and personalised content are a great way of utilising mobile health apps and other digital tools to engage communities and foster a continuous dialogue around health. Discussion forums, wherein communities are encouraged to ask questions and share experiences and support, are yet another useful way to achieve the purpose. What’s more, elements of gamification can be integrated into these apps and platforms to hold the interest of users, and telehealth services can be devised to make access to healthcare professionals easier. Leveraging technology is thus fundamental to cultivating an inclusive healthcare system in this modern age.