3 Cancer-Fighting Foods to Consider for Optimal Health

“You are what you eat,” as the popular saying goes. That rings all the more true when you consider your health—and particularly, your cancer risk.

Your diet is one of the primary factors which can set your body up for health or disease. The nutrients (or lack thereof) that you take in; the vitamins and minerals you eat; the amount of water you consume—all of these factors contribute to a healthy body and support your immune system to fight off disease.

When considering your diet, there are plenty of foods you can eat to support your body’s ability to fight against cancer; in fact, I’ve shared a number of blog posts about them in the past. You can read about cancer-fighting and preventing foods here and here. The essence of these blogs is a focus on legumes, cruciferous vegetables, wild caught fish and free range chicken, ginger, garlic, and foods with antioxidant properties, like berries.

There are some unique foods you can also add into your diet to further support your body’s immune function—ones you may not have heard of in the past, or expected to see on a list of cancer-fighting foods. We’ve outlined them for you below:

1. Pomegranates

Similar to blueberries and blackberries, pomegranates can offer your body antioxidant support. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals in the body, which have the potential to interfere with healthy cells and steer them towards malignancy, leading to cancer.

In addition, pomegranates offer anti-inflammatory support. When the body is inflamed, the immune system’s functioning decreases, hormones can build up in the body, and your overall health is negatively impacted. Anti-inflammatory agents like pomegranates can help decrease inflammation and return the body to homeostasis and health.

SStudies have linked pomegranates to reduced growth of cancer cells. Be wary, however: pomegranate juice does not always carry this cancer inhibiting protection with it. Because pomegranate juice is loaded with sugar, it’s going to increase inflammation in the body and ultimately neutralize any potential positive effects.

Stick to the whole fruit: you can get whole pomegranates from the grocery store, or opt for frozen pomegranate kernels (so you don’t have to do all the messy cutting and scooping!) to add to a salad, smoothie, or even a bright fish dish!

2. Black Seeds & Black Seed Oil

Black seeds—also known as black cumin seed or black cumin—go by the scientific name nigella sativa. The plant which provides black seeds is also known as the fennel flower, black caraway, or kalonji, depending on which region you’re in.

Black cumin was a commonly used natural remedy in traditional medicine and it’s been in use for centuries to help with a wide variety of ailments. Modern science has been able to identify the active agent in black cumin as a compound known as thymoquinone (TQ). TQ is believed to decrease inflammation, support immune function, and prevent cancer.

Considerable research has been conducted on the use of TQ and black cumin in preventing and fighting cancer. One review outlines the efficacy of TQ and other compounds in black cumin. In particular, they point out studies which have linked black cumin to adequately fight against malignant cells in the bloodstream, kidneys, liver, breasts, prostate, and lungs.

Though there are a variety of ideas for exactly how TQ may fight against cancer, a leading theory is TQ’s ability to act as a free radical scavenger, which protects cells from the harm imbued by free radicals.

To weave black seeds AKA black cumin AKA black seed oil into your diet, consider the following:

  • Add black cumin to stir-fried veggies
  • Sprinkle black cumin on fish or chicken
  • Replace pepper with black cumin with your eggs
  • Add black cumin to your salad mix
  • Add black cumin oil to your salad dressing (https://mountainroseherbs.com/black-cumin-seed-oil

Black cumin is available at most grocery stores, though you’ll find particular luck at health foods stores or Whole Foods. If you want pure black seed, you can find it at Mountain Rose Herbs, linked here.

3. Sea Veggies

Sea vegetables—including kelp, hijiki, nori, kombu—hold powerful anti-cancer properties as well. If you are unfamiliar with these names, the last time you had sea veggies was likely in the wrapping of your sushi roll; however, these foods offer a variety of benefits that make them a should-be staple in your pantry.

If we go one by one…

  • Kelp: Removes heavy metals from the body and decreases any radioactive particles present
  • Hijiki: Supports natural killer T-cells—immune system cells which fight malignant cancer cells
  • Nori: Includes high levels of calcium, iron, and carotenes
  • Kombu: High in calcium, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, D, and E; decreases blood pressure; also high in protein compared to the other sea vegetables!

All these sea veggies can be found at your local H-Mart or Asian food store but if all these sea veggies appear to be overwhelming, how about making simple nori cheese snacks? Easy to prepare and yummy:


If you’re looking for ways to make your nutrition plan more unique, try out one of these options this week! Black cumin adds some more spice, pomegranates add more brightness, and sea vegetables are a delicious snack or addition to a rice dish.


4 Tips to Naturally Manage Joint Pain

Over the colder months, do you find yourself feeling more joint pain and arthritic symptoms? Or do your regular workouts end up with stiffness and body aches the next day?

Whether you struggle with joint pain or have diagnosed arthritis, you’re not alone. The CDC estimates that one in four American adults have arthritis, with even more adults struggling with stiff or painful joints from time to time. And cold weather decreases the amount of lubrication between joints, which causes this number to get even higher in the winter.

Before we dive into what causes joint pain and how you can (naturally) alleviate stiffness, let’s briefly cover joint basics.

Joints are locations in the body where two bones, or bone and cartilage, come together, typically (but not always) to facilitate movement. Joints are made up of bone, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage. When you think about your joints, you’re likely thinking about your synovial joints, which are the most common in the body, particularly in your limbs. This is where two bones join in a cavity filled with synovial fluid to spur movement.

We experience joint pain most frequently due to inflammation. Whether from lifestyle, diet, stress, or vitamin deficiencies, our body will frequently experience inflammation. When inflammation becomes chronic, we may experience symptoms like joint pain regularly and feel at a loss for how to alleviate it.

A quick fix may be taking an Advil or a pain reliever, but this rarely addresses the root of the problem. So in this blog, we’ve outlined four actions you can take to help get to the root of your joint pain. 


Do a lifestyle check

There are a variety of lifestyle factors that can contribute to joint pain: stress levels, sleep quality, and level of hydration. Any discrepancy in one of these can contribute to joint pain.

First, stress is one of the main causes of inflammation in the body. Rising cortisol levels caused by stress can elicit an inflammatory response, which can have an effect on your joints. To decrease your stress, consider a meditation routine, or another stress management tactic outlined in this blog..

Next, consider your sleep hygiene. During sleep, the body repairs itself, nurtures, replenishes, and prepares for the next day. If you’re not sleeping enough, or if your quality of sleep is poor, your body will have higher levels of stress and inadequate time for repair and replenishment. Try getting to bed an hour earlier – especially in the winter months – to increase your sleep time.

Lastly, hydration. How often do you hear people saying to drink more water? Not often enough, because the majority of us are constantly dehydrated, even if we don’t realize it. Water is key to lubricating your joints, so aim to drink at least half of your body weight in water each day. For example, if you’re 150 lbs, you’ll want to aim for 75 ounces each day!


Foods to add and remove

 You’ll want to become aware of the inflammatory and anti-inflammatory foods in your diet as well. Nutrition is often the first place where you can make small changes to see big results, and you want to focus on foods that support repair, rather than promoting inflammation. Anti-inflammatory foods stabilize blood sugar levels, provide more nutrients, and, as the name suggests, help fight inflammation in the body.

Foods to incorporate are less processed and more natural, with limited sugar, refined carbohydrates or unhealthy fats (but healthy fats are great for your joints!)

Consider foods like:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Berries and citrus fruit
  • Pasture-fed meat and poultry
  • Herbs and spices (garlic, rosemary, turmeric, etc.)
  • Wild caught fish
  • Fermented vegetables
  • Olive oil, olives, avocados (healthy fats!)

Foods to avoid are highly processed, sugary foods like fast food, frozen meals, vegetable oils, trans fats, and refined wheat products.


Move regularly and (somewhat) gently

 The ideal type of exercise for people with joint pain is low-impact exercise. Physical activity helps decrease inflammation, mobilize fluid in the joints, and helps the body with its overall waste removal processes.

Consider the following exercises:

  • Walking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Tai Chi

You want to be gentle on your joints with your exercise, and you also will want to prioritize stretching. Yoga is great for this, and you can also find short videos online that help you stretch out each morning or evening. This gets your joints moving, helps decrease inflammation, and improves overall health. You can check out this 7-minute guided stretch below!

Add supplements into your regimen

Four specific supplements can be extremely powerful in decreasing inflammation and improving your joint pain: magnesium, proteolytic enzymes, collagen, and omega-3 fatty acids. We outline each below!

Magnesium supports the cartilage in joints, while also aiding in the digestion of other important nutrients in the body, like vitamin D and calcium. The majority of Americans are deficient in magnesium, and adding it into your routine can be immensely helpful to your overall health.

For more magnesium, check out Bio-optimizer’s all-seven forms of magnesium supplement, found here.

Proteolytic Enzymes have anti-inflammatory effects in the body, with specific effects in the joints. They help remove scar tissue in the joints, while also preventing any other fibrolytic tissue from building up. Serrapeptase is a proteolytic enzyme which may be helpful for joint pain.  Though not widely studied, clinical studies show preliminary information that serrapeptase may work as an analgesic for inflamed tissues. Here’s one to try.

Collagen is the protein in our bodies found in our joints – particularly in the ligaments and tendons – and aids their movement. Adding collagen to the diet can improve pain and motility in people with joint pain and associated diseases.

We recommend Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen (find your favorite flavor!) as a boost to your smoothies. You can check it out here.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are another anti-inflammatory. Moreover, they also provide a boost of healthy fats in your diet, which provide further lubrication and support to your joints! You can find these fatty acids in salmon, nuts, eggs, and seeds, but if you want a supplement to provide Omega-3s regularly, we recommend Carlson Maximum Omega 2000, which you can find here.

Joint pain can limit your motility, comfort, and happiness, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. Incorporate a few of these tips into your regular schedule to fight inflammation, soothe discomfort, and help address the root cause of any joint issues.

Remember: Preventing pain is easier than treating pain!

5 Tips for Managing Stress and Preventing Burnout in the Workplace

Are you tired of work? Have you been experiencing burnout in the workplace? If yes, you are not alone; a recent survey revealed that 77% of respondents – nearly 4 out of 5 people – have experienced burnout at work. For those of you working in the medical, human services, and education sectors, it is even more likely that you need a break.

So what is burnout? If you think you are experiencing it, online surveys such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory or seeking a mental health professional can help you clarify. But in simple terms, World Health Organization characterizes it with three dimensions:

  • Energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • Negative feelings or lack of pleasure at your job, such as becoming cynical or critical;
  • Reduced efficacy at work, such as low productivity or struggling with concentration.

These symptoms could have dire consequences if left ignored or unaddressed. According to the Mayo Clinic, sustained burnout can lead to the following:

  • Mental health and mood issues, such as fatigue, insomnia, sadness and anger, and alcohol and substance misuse; and
  • Physical issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, and vulnerability to illnesses.

Fortunately, many employers are pushing for policies to ensure employee mental wellness, such as increased time off and after-school childcare. In this blog, we’ll cover five additional tips to manage work stress and help you get through tough times at work.


Build Strong Relationships

We, humans, are social creatures. Like any other environment, social support at work and outside of work is necessary for workplace well-being. Research has shown that good social interactions regulate our hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system – the stress response system in our body, protecting us from psychological and physical diseases.

There are many scientific studies proving that good relationships decreases burnout at work. For example, a psychology study revealed that good coworker relationships are associated with lower burnout and higher job satisfaction. Obviously, not everyone is comfortable with making friends at work, but we still recommend that you try to connect with even a few that you share commonalities with. Or, in most cases, you may NOT LIKE the people you work with – they may be hostile, competitive, undermining your efforts etc. As this happens to most of us, it’s important to find a buddy (or two) who can also be a mentor and help you manage the politics in the workplace. Every job that I’ve had over the years, there was ALWAYS at least one key person that I was well connected to – this helped me navigate the challenges and difficulties.


Stay Active

Sometimes, mental exhaustion can hit in the middle of the day. Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, try getting some movement! There are many research studies showing the cumulative benefits of staying active. For instance, a research study on 99 adults showed that 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise on a stationary bike improved mood and cognitive flexibility afterwards. This means a light run or a brisk hike during your lunch break is enough to energize you and help you mentally prepare to get back to work.

Don’t have 30 minutes? That’s fine, too. Science has already proven that 10 minutes of walking a day can literally lead to a longer life. Or try some at-home yoga after work; many Youtube videos are only 10 minutes long, and as long as you watch out for injuries and stretch effectively afterwards, they are amazing ways to boost your mood while staying healthy! Here is one for beginners.


Good Sleep Habits

Ever noticed you feel more cranky when you’re sleep deprived? Studies have shown that sleep loss is linked to burnout in the clinical field, and this holds true in other workplaces as well. On the other hand, quality sleep helps you grow new neural pathways in the brain, and thus enhances attention, creativity and decision making.

For good physical and mental health, the National Sleep Foundation recommends around 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, the necessary hours do vary between people, according to sleep expert Russel Foster, so focusing on building good sleep habits suitable for your energy levels is more important. Go to bed and wake up at similar times every day, across weekdays and weekends; invest in some curtains to keep your bedroom dark; adjust your room temperature to be cooler; and avoid caffeine and nicotine, including chocolates and soda, in the late afternoon and evenings. Finally, focus on progress and not perfection. Sleeping well three days a week is still better than none!


Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness refers to the state of awareness where you focus on feelings and sensations of the present moment. According to research, mindfulness protects us against stress and burnout, helps cultivate better self-compassion, and even reduces blood pressure and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.

Practicing mindfulness is easy to do but hard to put into practice. If you’re like me and your mind is always going and it’s hard to shut down, you can schedule some time out of the day and do it for just five minutes. The Mayo Clinic has outlined instructions for each on this website; or, here is a simple, 5-minute Body Scan exercise for you to try during a break. This will help you maintain a peaceful mind through and after work.


Establish Work-Life Boundaries

Work-life balance has never been easy but with more of us working from home resulting from the pandemic, establishing appropriate professional boundaries is even more important. These boundaries can be mental, such as setting certain “work hours” for yourself and tracking the tasks you allow yourself to do; or physical, such as turning off email notifications after work. If you work from home, changing in and out of work attire, and establishing an office space or corner can also help separate work and personal life. Some people even carry two phones so they are not ‘bombarded’ with notifications and messages during off-hours. You shouldn’t have to pay the price of working from home by working around the clock. And you will be more productive at work with a balanced life in the long run.

Workplace burnout is extremely common but know that you are not alone in today’s “gotta-get-everything-done-right-now” society. Hopefully, these five tips will help you prevent burnout from creeping into your professional life.

Remember that you work to live, not the other way around!

American Hospital Association Urges DEA to Issue Special Registration for Telemedicine Controlled Substances

The American Hospital Association (AHA), on behalf of its nearly 5,000 member hospitals and health systems, sent a letter urging the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to take immediate action to allow telemedicine prescribing of controlled substances before the Public Health Emergency (PHE) waivers expire. The letter exhorts the DEA to publish the proposed rule for a special telemedicine registration, something the DEA has said it would do since 2009 (yes, 13 years ago; not a typo). 

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At Children’s Mercy, telemedicine boosts access to highly sought-after subspecialists

by Bill Siwicki

Children’s Mercy Kansas City is a pediatric health system with the highest-level designations in neonatal and pediatric intensive care, trauma and emergency services, fetal health and transport services.



Children’s Mercy supports the children of Kansas and Missouri, with the next children’s hospitals being hours away in all directions. This extensive geographical region has forever been a significant challenge for patients and their families to access pediatric specialty care.

“The high demand for pediatric specialty providers and the constraints many families face regarding transportation, time off from work and school, and finances, made it obvious that traditional models of outreach healthcare were not sustainable,” said Morgan Waller, director of telemedicine business and operations at Children’s Mercy.

“Supportive leadership and persistent visionaries decided telemedicine was the solution to this continuously growing problem of too few specialists and pediatric patients with complex healthcare needs scattered and isolated all over rural Kansas and Missouri,” she added.



Because of the distance barrier to care and recognizing that the value telemedicine can provide to achieve the Triple Aim goals of improving specialist access, quality of care and affordability, Children’s Mercy Kansas City began to identify telemedicine and technology options to help treat patients across the regions served.

“After assessing options, which at the time Children’s Mercy began this initiative, in 2011, were very limited, it was decided that InTouch Health, a division of Teladoc Health, offered the best telemedicine platform to support regional telemedicine outreach clinics,” Waller recalled. “It was the dedication to quality, reliability and patient/provider experience that set Teladoc Health apart.

“Without any doubt, the devices InTouch Health offered a decade ago, in conjunction with their proprietary network, delivered unprecedented provider and patient experiences,” she continued. “To truly have a solution to the access challenges for these pediatric patients, Children’s Mercy needed to be able to replicate the same standard of care virtually, as that delivered in person, up to the highest level of encounter.”

That means providers hundreds of miles away must be able to listen to breath sounds; look into the eyes, nose, mouth and ears; and view the scalp and skin up close or magnified, and do so uninterrupted by poor network quality or other technology noise.

“To argue for sustainability, investing in the highest quality technology ensured early adopters within Children’s Mercy would lead the way and inspire new subspecialists to leverage virtual care services to treat more complex conditions and meet the needs of more patients across the region,” she explained.



There are many vendors of telemedicine technology and services on the health IT market today. Healthcare IT News published a special report highlighting many of these vendors with detailed descriptions of their products. Click here to read the special report.



Telemedicine-enabled clinics were established in two locations in Kansas and two in Missouri with plans for more. The facilities are identical to traditional healthcare clinics, with the addition of Teladoc Health real-time, two-way interactive audiovisual technology that supports the use of JedMed digital ancillary exam devices.

BSN and RN tele-facilitators trained in multiple specialty assessments support the patients in person and the providers located in Kansas City to ensure that the standards of care are met (up to level 5 clinical encounters) for these complex appointments.



“Telemedicine improves access to highly sought-after subspecialists,” Waller stated. “Rather than traditional outreach programs where providers would fly or drive for hours to see clusters of patients in rural areas, telemedicine allows providers to see patients during the time they would otherwise be in transit, and the reach is theoretically limitless.

“Since establishing the telemedicine department in 2012, the number of subspecialty encounters via telemedicine has steadily grown,” she continued. “Prior to COVID, almost 2% of all ambulatory subspecialty care was facilitated via telemedicine. Children’s Mercy has continued to support the patients and families in Missouri, Kansas and the surrounding region by maintaining their commitment to telemedicine and regional outreach.”

Appreciating what a critical role the specially trained BSN and RN tele-facilitators serve in meeting the hospital’s standard of care, and patient and family and provider experiences, for complex care delivered over distance, Children’s Mercy has continued to onboard these talented nursing professionals.

“Additionally, telemedicine has shown the ability to lessen the financial burden for families by eliminating the costs of traveling considerable distances for care, food, lodging and/or childcare,” Waller noted. “Parents and children miss significantly less time from work and school when seen in a telemedicine clinic.

“Having a mature, centralized telemedicine department also allowed Children’s Mercy to rapidly switch to telemedicine appointments in the home during the spring of 2020,” she added. “Within three weeks, the organization had all subspecialty practices and allied health services (51 separate service lines) ready to not only care for patients and families remotely, but to schedule, document and bill these encounters (not including the limitations of some electronic solutions at the time).”

At the height of the lockdown, Children’s Mercy Kansas City converted 65% of ambulatory appointments to telemedicine in the home. Still, as the pandemic wanes, demand for telemedicine continues.



“Many organizations still are not utilizing telemedicine to its full potential,” Waller cautioned. “It is disappointing that the increased awareness and understanding of telemedicine brought to the world by way of the pandemic has been limited to the patient home experience.

“Although an equally valuable practice, direct-to-patient telemedicine has limitations,” she continued. “If the country and the world is going to cope with worsening shortages of physicians and healthcare providers, going beyond the traditional models of care for all types of services is necessary.”

Leaders in healthcare will be those who seek out high-quality telemedicine technologies that connect to peripheral high-definition camera-enabled exam devices and digital stethoscopes while utilizing available bandwidth efficiently to maintain connectivity, regardless of extraneous conditions, she added.

“They will enable RN tele-facilitators to practice within the full scope of their licenses to partner with physicians, advanced practice nurses and physician assistants to deliver highly specialized care for complex patient conditions in the least intrusive ways possible,” she said.

“They will outfit all patient care areas with the virtual sophistication required to replicate the standard of care via telemedicine for all services offered in person,” she concluded. “And leaders in healthcare will recognize that achieving a mature delivery system in 2022 and beyond requires a dedicated team of telemedicine professionals working alongside traditional experts in healthcare at every level.”

Emotion AI: Why It’s The Future Of Digital Health

by Aaron Labbé

Have you ever heard of emotion artificial intelligence (AI)? Emotion AI, or affective AI, is a field of computer science that helps machines gain an understanding of human emotions. The MIT Media Lab and Dr. Rosalind Picard are the premier innovators in this space. Through their work, they sparked the idea to help machines develop empathy.

Empathy is a complex concept with a lot of strings attached to it, but on a basic level, it means having an understanding of another person’s emotional states. In theory, if machines can have that level of understanding, they can serve us better. Particularly in areas such as healthcare, applying empathetic AI can be very impactful.


How is emotion AI used in healthcare?

There are various types of emotion AI. The first kind detects human emotions. In mental healthcare, this kind of technology has great potential in diagnostics. In regard to physical health conditions, they can be used to monitor resilience in conditions such as cancer. This is beneficial especially because the importance of holistic and integrative care is now widely recognized.

The next level of emotion AI not only detects human emotion but has the ability to respond accordingly. One great example of how this can be used is with the population who live with dementia. People living with dementia may have a hard time understanding their own emotional state and even more so communicating how they’re feeling to their caregivers. That puts a heavy onus on caregivers to constantly read and decipher how they’re feeling, which is a hard task when you’re already overloaded.

This opens up the opportunity for emotion AI to look at things like biometrics or psychometrics that are less reliant on self-assessment—such as facial expression, speech cues or behavior. Emotion AI allows us to predict what a person’s state is with a level of competency that can be as good or even better than what a caregiver could tell us. In our use case at LUCID, we use this data to curate personalized music to help with the psychological symptoms of dementia.

This can increase compassion toward caregivers. Caregivers are facing increasing levels of burnout and may encounter fatigue when doing this type of monitoring. Having AI come in to assist can both provide the patient with better care and increase stamina for caregivers.


What are some drawbacks or concerns around affective AI?

When AI gets involved with human emotion, there are understandably a lot of alarms raised. There’s a gut reaction (stemming from television and Hollywood) that if machines understand emotion, they could gain sentience and potentially manipulate our emotions. This is a valid concern, but at the same time, these machines are given a very limited playground to play within. Training responsible AI is vital, by which they’re given data in order to do good with that information. That’s why we must push for responsible ethics in AI.

Technology and computing are developing faster compared to government legislation, so there may be gaps in policy. That’s where foundations like AI For Good come in. These frameworks and institutions are important because they help develop professional ethics to promote a positive culture around AI.

Bias is another concern for the AI community. If datasets are biased toward a certain type of population, the AI won’t be reliable when you extrapolate it out to the larger population. Many of these data collection efforts trained the AI on specific types of people—people who either volunteered for trials or could afford certain products. Would it reliably predict emotions for people who aren’t within that population? That’s a hard problem for AI at large, which professionals in this field work very hard to circumvent.

Luckily, there are strategies to prevent bias in emotion AI. It’s essential to actively collect participant bodies and samples from people who are from all walks of life wherever possible. You have to put in an effort to distribute this data collection as widely as possible. Another solution for bias is to develop a truly mobilized product to train the AI—a product that’s cheap, accessible and globally distributed so it can cover as many cultural representations as possible.


How are empathy machines currently used in digital health?

Technology has the advantage that it can stitch itself into a patient’s life beyond what a doctor can. As we move toward a longitudinal, person-centered approach, that gap can start to be filled with the use of AI. With the rise of integrative care, many digital health ventures are now leveraging emotion AI.

Twill (formerly Happify) is one example of using emotion AI in mental healthcare. Its Intelligent Healing platform uses AI to learn about one’s health needs and recommend a course of action. Its health chatbot is trained to provide personalized care and support in an empathetic way.

LUCID also uses an AI recommendation system to suggest music based on one’s mental states. It leverages biometrics and self-assessed data as inputs to classify a user’s emotional states. By learning about someone’s mood and their response to music, the algorithm adapts to better help them.

Although empathy machines and emotion AI may sound intimidating, they’re helping fill the gap in patient care, which traditional health models sometimes fail to do. Patient monitoring and longitudinal care use a lot of human resources. One doctor claimed, “Building and maintaining a longitudinal, person-centered care plan is really hard work. It takes a lot of resources. No healthcare provider is going to do it if it costs them more to do the plan than the benefit they derive from it.”

The sooner we can get machines to be more empathetic, the better our digital healthcare tools will become. It can open up many opportunities if, through technology, we can truly understand how people are feeling at all times—and empathize. Emotion AI is one of the most important pillars of digital health because if we have a better understanding of what’s going on with the patient, we have a better way of treating them.