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How can Voice improve mental health during a pandemic?

Before you vision board your physical, mental, and social goals for 2021, make sure to include the help from your favorite voice assistants. With 2020 behind us, many are wondering how to pursue health and wellness in the new year. 

COVID-19 has increased emotional stress on all of us and in particular college students. Studies on incoming college freshmen suggest that those who use Alexa may suffer less from depression and feelings of loneliness in isolation. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends coping with stress in a healthy way to make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. 

The CDC website lists the impacts of stress during an infectious disease outbreak, as the following:

  • Fear and worry about your own health and the health of your loved ones, your financial situation or job, or loss of support services you rely on.
  • Changes in sleep or eating patterns.
  • Difficulty sleeping or concentrating.
  • Worsening of chronic health problems.
  • Worsening of mental health conditions.
  • Increased use of tobacco, and/or alcohol and other substances.

An interesting development in Ai has been the analysis of a person’s mental health based solely on the sound of their voice. Over time, an algorithm collects voice samples and then tries to recognize and track indicators of mood, such as happiness, depression, and apathy.

Voice technology is a plus for older adults and those with disabilities. You don’t have to teach an older generation how to swipe or use apps as they can naturally say what they want. Not only can assistance help keep us connected to our loved ones but they can help us to unwind with interactive games. 

The most popular Google Assistant game at the moment is Akinator, which is a 20-questions game but in reverse. You think about a real or fictional character and the Akinator will try to guess who it is. Some other top new games include Jeopardy, Guess the Drawing, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Trivia Crack. 

The largest voice-interactive device consumers prefer for healthcare use cases is smartphones with 52.6%. Voice technology can help you regain a routine during quarantine with regular reminders of when to eat, drink water, and take stretch breaks. It can also help set a positive tone to your day with the option of daily affirmations, mindfulness, and meditation apps like Calm and Headspace

With the world complaining about Zoom fatigue and an increase in blue light glasses to minimize the strain of screens on our eyes, voice provides a refreshing alternative. Voice assistants can suggest anything from trails to enjoy the outdoors with brands like Merrell to new recipes on Voicipe that users can try out in the kitchen. You can also enjoy your favorite podcast on Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant while you disconnect from screens. Fitness trackers like Fitbit or Nike FuelBands regularly prompt people to visit a healthcare provider, making them more likely than those who don’t use fitness trackers to prioritize their health. 

There are endless possibilities for the ways that voice technology is making a difference in these hard times. How has Voice positively impacted your wellness? Share with us on Twitter @VoiceTalksAi and stay tuned for the next episode of Voice Talks on January 28th at 2 PM ET.

Alison Cuevas

Written by Alison Cuevas

Alison is a MODEV Content and Copywriter with a Multimedia Journalism background. She is a Virginia Tech alum established in Washington DC.

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