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How Can Wearable Cameras Help Memory Conditions?

The newest editions of wearable cameras are targeted toward the social media enthusiasts, eager to share their day with the world. These cameras are often small and imperceptible, secretly snapping photos and documenting one’s life. The future of these devices is promising in the social realm, but these cameras could potentially make a positive impact in the medical field as well.

Wearable cameras provide somewhat of a visual diary, what they are now calling “life-logging.” For the social media butterflies, these cameras make it easier to share their lives with their friends and followers. These devices essentially allow a peek into the life of the person donning the camera.

The originators of this technology had something different in mind. These devices were created as a goal to help patients suffering from amnesia or dementia recall important events and aid in memory and recall abilities.

By documenting your entire day, you permit a review of your daily activities. For those with memory issues, whether a type of amnesia or dementia, reviewing these images and videos can help exercise the brain and trigger memory recall.

A previous case study evaluated what was called a SenseCam, and showed that memory could be improved. Reviewing images from the SenseCam regularly helped overall recall. The study showed that the individual “could recall more than 80% of key facts about significant events after a fortnight of reviewing SenseCam images every couple of days and that a similar level of recall persisted for months after she stopped looking at the pictures.” Using these images as cues helped to trigger certain parts of the brain associated with memories. Exercising these parts seemed to have strengthened memory recollection.

While this case study portrays a promising future for these wearable cameras, privacy still remains as a major issue. Especially in healthcare, patient privacy and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) violations may cause controversy.

Do you think these devices impose on other people’s right to privacy, or do you believe they can be plausible devices for health and social media use? Let us know what you think. Connect with us on social networks – Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

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