A major new study by experts has found that the number of mobile phone related injuries has shot up since the advent of smartphones. It seems that the more advanced our phones get, the more risk they pose to our safety. The problem appears to be that as technology increases our phone’s capabilities, the more time people spend on them while also engaging in other activities.
Surgeon Boris Paskhover and his colleagues reported how they analysed data from about 100 hospitals in the US between January 1998 and December 2017. They found that cases of injuries shot up from around 2007 as the first iPhone was released and smartphones became commonplace. By 2016, the team estimated that the rate had reached about 29 new cases per million people each year.
While the traditional mobile phone was little more than a cordless communication device, modern smartphones have turned into information hubs and mini entertainment centres. Their multi dimensional use has meant that they have become essential to everyday living, with SMS messaging overtaking voice calls as a preferred method of communication for a third of Americans.
As handy as smartphones are for keeping us permanently ‘plugged in’, their portability encourages us to use them while doing everyday things such as walking or commuting. While it’s possible to talk to someone as you walk from A to B, the hazards of not looking where you’re going because you’re looking at your phone has caused people to frequently walk into traffic, lampposts and even each other.
“Nobody in their right mind would ever read a book while they’re walking, says Paskover, who is chief of facial plastics and reconstructive surgery at Rutgers New Jersey medical school and co-author of the study, “So why would they read an entire article on the phone while they are walking?”
Such is the extent of the problem, in Chongqing, China, a stretch of pavement was opened especially for people who use their phones while walking. Meanwhile, in Salzburg, airbags have been put on lampposts to prevent facial injuries from people smacking into them while using their phones. The report added that out of an estimated 14,150 cases, 33 % of the injuries were to the head or the face. Cuts, bruises and internal organ injury – primarily traumatic brain injury – were among the most common problems.
About 60% of these cases were individuals aged 13-29, with half of them down to people using their phone while driving, while 90 of them involved individuals playing Pokémon Go. Paskhover added that the number of indirect phone-related injuries recorded in the latest study was probably an underestimate. If you simply can’t wait to check your phone, Safety.com recommends the following precautions to avoid an accident:
-holding your phone up higher in your visual field so that you can see any potential risks
-taking frequent breaks from using your device to assess your surroundings
-using software that reads messages out loud
-using voice recognition typing
-keeping your headphone volume to a reasonable level that allows you to hear your surroundings
RoQ Recruitment work with trusted clients in both the NHS and the Private Sector to gain access to the industry’s best opportunities. If you’d like to speak to a member of our team about the wide range of healthcare work on offer, then call: 0800 971 7070Tags: Healthcare, medical, mobile phones