In an ever-advancing world, it was only a matter of time before wearable tech entered the mental health field. Apple recently announced that the new watchOS would enable users to monitor their mental health in new ways.
The new system will allow users to rate their emotional state consistently and identify significant factors contributing to it. The system will also prompt them to describe their emotions, creating a personal and thorough information log.
Records allow users to identify patterns in major life factors or experiences that impact their mental health.
Apple’s Health app will then compare this data to other health data, such as sleep and exercise, to identify ways these behaviors impact the user’s mental health. The app will also include standard mental health assessments so that users can identify when it may be time to get additional help for their mental health.
From the perspective of a mental health clinician, these new additions certainly have benefits. They create consistent moments of intentional self-reflection, something we often neglect in our busy day-to-day lives. Awareness of an emotional reaction can impact our experience and allow us to do something about it.
The new update creates a log that reveals patterns in behaviors, life issues, and other influences on a person’s mental health. We may not realize that we’re consistently frustrated after a specific meeting every week, and logs like this help us become aware of the factors behind our moods. This empowers us to do something about the situation rather than being un-blissfully unaware of what brings us down.
While these are significant innovations to the world of health technology, we don’t need to wait for the next update to take advantage of these kinds of things. There is also a limit to what technology can do, so we want to stay aware of how to support our mental health. With that in mind, there are a few things we can start doing right away to get these benefits.
The truth is that our emotional experiences often occur beneath the level of our conscious awareness. Especially in a culture that keeps us busy and distracted, we can miss our own emotional experiences.
Emotions are experienced in the body, so we can start by consciously focusing on our body. How are we feeling? Does anything feel tense, sore, or uncomfortable?
Once we identify an emotion or experience, we can open up to it and explore it. What’s this about? What influenced the onset of this emotion?
Address Emotions in the Moment
Once we are aware of our emotional state, we may be able to do something about it. There may be an action we need to take to relieve some anxiety or apprehension. We may need something: a break, a walk around the block, a glass of water, or even a hug.
We may also simply need to take some deep breaths and allow the emotional experience to pass. This is especially true when we don’t have control over our situation. In these moments, we need to acknowledge what can consciously and cannot be done and let go of the things we cannot control.
A couple of questions have helped me significantly with this:
- Is this a real problem, or is it something I’m imagining might happen?
- If it is imaginative, I must let it go and focus on the present.
- If it is real, I move to question #2
- Can I do something about it right now?
- If I can, then I should take that action.
- If not, then I need to briefly make a plan and then let it go until I can take action.
- If it is something I don’t have any control over, I need to let go and find some acceptance of the situation.
Make Practical and Achievable Changes
Our behaviors influence our emotional states and our mental health. If we are ready to make changes that will improve our health, such as getting consistent sleep or starting an exercise routine, then we need to make those changes practical and achievable.
It’s too common to bite off more than we can chew when working toward a new goal. Instead, set a goal of a practical action that can be accomplished each day. Then, do it consistently to create long-lasting change. The secret of goal setting isn’t about the end result but the formation of daily habits.
Address Unresolved Issues and Reach Out for Help
As we become more self-aware, we will find old patterns, beliefs, and pains beneath the surface. This means that we need to address the things that have gone unresolved. We owe it to ourselves to work through these difficult things impacting our current well-being.
When it comes to those old wounds, what we’re really dealing with is trauma, and in those cases, it’s best to get help. Friends and family can immensely support this, but finding a therapist who can help from an unbiased perspective is never bad. Mental health clinicians are trained to understand these deeper pains and can help accelerate the path of healing.
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Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending
London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.
According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.
The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:
“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”
The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:
“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”
The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.
The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.
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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs
As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.
Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI
In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.
According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.
One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.
To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.
Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.
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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations
As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.
Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation
To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.
The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.
Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.
The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.
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