By Jeremy Nettle

I noted this week that the Centre for Connected Health is interested in evaluating sensors that may be used to detect and monitor changes in emotional states.

The effects of emotional stress on overall health are well documented and the Centre for Connected Health says it is committed to innovative methods of providing quality care, effective wellness programs, and clinical research.

Sensor-enabled tools that can support self-management of physical and mental health could provide a great opportunity for anyone developing or considering developing mobile devices in healthcare and an even better opportunity for those looking for a potentially cheap and easy way to improve emotional well being.

In fact, when I reviewed the papers on ‘The effects of emotional stress on overall health’, I was very surprised to find this piece of research:

“Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humour lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

“So with so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.”

Laughter is good for your health it seems:-

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
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  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins. The body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

So while we are all looking a different treatments, personalised medicines and healthy lifestyles to help us feel better, or more importantly, keep us in good health and reduce the burden on the NHS, perhaps we need to look no further than finding someone or something to make us smile.

If you think I’m joking, I may have just cured you…

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Jeremy Nettle

Jeremy Nettle

Industry Advisor
Jeremy is one of the best-known and most experienced figures in healthcare technology, having worked in the sector for more than thirty years.

He started his career as a clinician in the NHS and went on to become IT director at Salisbury Healthcare NHS Trust from 1997-2002. From there, he moved into the private sector when he joined Lockheed Martin as director of business development within the public sector; a new sector for the company.

Jeremy went on to work for Intellect (now techUK) as chair of the Health and Social Care Group, giving a voice to more than 260 suppliers on IT policy issues, before joining Oracle as director of business development, EMEA healthcare and then global client advisor for Health and Life Science.

Jeremy is now semi-retired, but still works as a health and social care business advisor and sits on the board of companies, educational organisations and charities. Since January 2019, he has also chaired Highland Marketing’s advisory board, which is available to the agency and its clients for advice and support on effective communications and marketing.

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