Diffuser Technologies for a More Natural Home

These days you can’t surf the net or social media without happening upon some mention of diffusers and essential oils. There is a reason behind this fad though. Essential oils have been found to be beneficial for a host of discomforts. From skin blemishes and stress to weight loss, head tension, and more, essential oils are great in not only freshening the air, but benefitting general health. The list of uses is endless and fascinating.

The Diffusers

Diffusers are necessary if you want to reap the benefits of these oils as many of them, when applied directly to the skin, can cause problems for those with sensitive skin. In addition to the beneficial properties of essential oils dispensed by diffusers, the aromas provided by a diffuser and diluted with water also purify and freshen the air in your home. Some models also humidify the air in your home, which can be very helpful,especially in the winter.

Artificial air fresheners, on the other hand, are rife with toxins that can increase risks of various health issues.

Available diffusers come in a variety of shapes and styles, from basic to highly decorative, and inexpensive to pretty pricey. Some use electricity to release the oil’s aroma, while some use reeds. Following is an overview of some of the best models out there.

Urpower 300ml Aroma Essential Oil Diffuser

This one gets great reviews. Customers love that it holds three times the capacity of other models, while the price is a fraction of similar diffusers. It will run for seven to eight hours and can be set to light up in seven different colors, but this feature can be turned off if desired. It shuts off automatically when it gets low on water and produces a wider spread of mist than others. Amazon.com offers this one for $21.99.

Urpower Essential Oil Diffuser 120ml Aromatherapy Diffuser

This is another good choice. It’s very much like the previous model but it doesn’t hold as much water so it won’t run as long. It doesn’t have as strong a mist either, but it’s still more than adequate. It only runs about three hours, but it can be set to run thirty seconds on and thirty seconds off. On this setting, it will run about six hours. It also offers different light settings and is available at Amazon for $18.99.

You can also make your own diffuser if you prefer. Treehugger.com gives instructions on making your own reed type diffuser, using any attractive container, bamboo skewers, diffuser reeds, alcohol, water, and your choice of essential oil plus a carrier oil.

Always be sure to use quality 100% essential oils in your diffuser to avoid clogging it and otherwise compromising its performance.

Why Medical Data Systems are Crumbling

If you’ve ever spent time working with medical data systems, you know that they’re not great. They’re slow, they’re complex, and they feel like they came out of another decade. In fact, many did come out of another decade, and they’ve been making miserable the lives of techs and nurses ever since. In short, they suck. There are a few reasons for this, though, which can help you understand why the systems are in such a poor state.

 

Lowest Bidder Problems

Let us begin with a simple truth – these systems frequently aren’t top of the line. In most cases, the lowest bidder builds medical information technology. It’s one of the few places in which a hospital or practice can feel comfortable saving money, so it never pursues the top of the line. Instead, you’ll always be stuck with the discount version of a much better program. If you’re lucky, you’ll get something with support. If not, you’ll get a custom program that was built cheaply and must be worked around to function.

 

Old Data, Big Problems

Medical data persists for a very long time. The good news is that many hospitals were quick to start digitizing data. The bad news is that all of that data has to stick around. Unfortunately, that means that expert IT professionals must waste their time maintaining these ancient databases. According to Harmony, legacy data systems are difficult to migrate, so you’ll either be stuck with the original system or with an unwieldy half-solution. Everyone knows that this is not a very good fix, but everyone also knows that it would cost too much money and require too much time for anyone to actually fix the problem.

 

Not Patient-Facing

Perhaps the major reason that medical data systems remain so awful is that they aren’t patient-facing. While everything else in a medical practice or hospital needs to convince patients that they are in good hands, the IT system is only used by the employees. If the assumption remains that the patient’s experience is paramount, something will eventually have to give. Given budgetary restraints and the fact that most medical personnel are adept at working around the problems of the systems, there seems no chance that most medical systems will be updated.

 

In short, medical data systems suck because they’re too expensive and too difficult to change. Overhauling the system would take money away from patient care, even if only briefly. It might be short-term thinking to keep the data systems as they are, but the truth is that they will continue to suck as long as they continue to function.

Five Exciting Ways VR Could Disrupt The Game

You probably hear a lot about big “disrupts” in the world of technology these days. It’s generally used to describe a radical change happening to a company, product or industry. Recently it’d be hard to find a better example of a technology disrupting the marketplace than with virtual reality. It’s changing the way we do things (or at least it’s trying to) in industries ranging from gaming to real estate. As a result it’s gotten a lot of attention. But as much as we’ve been talking about VR for the last 18 months or so, there are some areas that still aren’t being covered as much as they should be.

Here are some of the potential VR disruptions you probably haven’t thought (or read) about just yet.

Arcades & Theme Parks

Most of us are still thinking of VR as a revolution for in-home gaming, and there’s one area where it’s definitely having a massive impact take that form. But if you purchase one of the better headsets and the PC or console it takes to run (something that’s left out of the basic headset price tags), you’re looking at spending at least roughly $1,000. Throw in the fact that a lot of VR games are limited by the available space around you, and in-home VR doesn’t always make a ton of sense. This is why some people are suggesting that as VR gets more sophisticated, you’ll leave your house to experience it. In all likelihood the technology will pave the way for new age arcades and theme parks, where entire areas are set up for wild virtual reality experiences. Almost like a “Holodeck” from Star Trek you can pay to go visit.

Watching Sports

VR has a tons of potential when it comes to changing the ways we watch sports. So far the NBA has led the way, and the early feedback is that the experience is surprisingly good. In the near future, it may come with enough options to be legitimately mind-blowing. We may be able to watch live contests from the virtual “seats” of our choice, or even take in courtside views. Some people have suggested we could even be able to watch the action from the perspective of a player! Imagine what it might be like to get closer than ever to an NFL game, or experience what it’s like to be a quarterback facing down oncoming linebackers. Unlike the gimmick of 3D television virtual reality really has the potential to transform how we watch and experience sports.

Online Casual Gaming

It’s not a huge leap to say that there will be all kinds of casual games looking to take advantage of VR. But some that you might not have initially thought of are poker games and other casino based titles. In fact, there’s already been several casino VR games, and other platforms are trying to recreate the experience through live dealer options. These games represent the cutting edge in online casino technology by allowing players to interact with actual dealers in real-time through a video feed. And it likely won’t be long before it makes the logical leap to VR headsets. But there’s potential that VR will help take it a step further beyond the casino and will allow players to enjoy their favorite games while exploring brand new environments. After all, the point of VR is to provide an experience different from what you can do in real life, which makes atmosphere of something like a traditional poker room almost po
intless. Instead we could see robot dealers, games set in underwater environments, poker in space, and more.

Reading

There aren’t any major reading VR apps in development that we know of just yet, but this is something to look out for as we move away from gaming. We’ve already seen the idea of electronic reading transform the book industry, and Kindle-like experiences could also be on the horizon for VR headsets. We could even see virtual libraries where we could be able to select and read books in a comfortable, studious atmosphere. There’s even a possibility that we could eventually see these world’s brought to life and watch the word literally jump off the page.

Therapy

The potential of virtual reality to alter the health industry has actually been well documented. If nothing else, VR applications for treatment and surgical simulations for doctors and medical students could be invaluable tools. But not everyone is as aware of the potential for VR to help with mental health. From alleviating stress to helping with specific anxieties, there’s a lot of potential in this area, and the health and tech industries are only just scratching the surface. They’re already making great strides in using the technology to help with the treatment of PTSD and we look forward to seeing where else they might be able to use it in the future.

What are you looking forward to with VR on the horizon? Let us know in the comments!