RecycleHealth: Wearables Recycling Positively Impact Access and User Insights

Last week while visiting Boston for the Digital Therapeutics Alliance Meeting, I got the opportunity to visit my good colleague, Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM, assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine. It was a great reunion talking about the Digital Mental Health Project, and her non-profit, RecycleHealthLisa does really cool research exploring how different groups, including lower-income, older, veteran, developmentally disabled, or racial/ethnic minority populations accept and use wearables, as well as how doctors integrate “wearable prescribing” into their practices.

RecycleHealth really caught my fancy on a few counts, so much so that I wanted to take some time to let my network know about this with a call to spread the word about this organization and donate to it.

This non-profit exists to increase the number of digital health wearables, i.e., FitBits, Apple Watches, Withings Scales, etc., that are given a second life, and chance to add value, in the lives of those on the wrong side of the Digital Divide, who otherwise would not be able to benefit from these technologies. This work is also adding a closed-loop recycling mechanism to a sector which can always to a better job of facilitating the recycle of its discarded products.

As you can imagine the links to digital mental health are:

  1. better access to health wearables for those who can less afford them,
  2. deeper insights into clinical and lifestyle barriers to use of health wearables to aid the better design of wearables and their experiential layers so that more populations can benefit from them over time

Given the present and future role of wearables in the digital mental health space as the carriers of sensors which allow a richer view of our biological states and detection of appropriate health interventions, tacking access and acceptability, will be critical success factors to achieving an accelerated adoption of digital to benefit more populations in need of better mental health services.

Thanks for checking out RecycleHealth, spreading the word and donating your old, if not new and regiftable, wearables.

Also, thanks again for reading and spreading word on The Digital Mental Health Project and take a few minutes to respond to our Digital Stress Management Survey. Please also subscribe to receive dMHp updates in your inbox.

Be well.

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