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Pitt's New Center Will Advance Research on Technology, Media and Health

With an eye on examining both the negative influences and positive capabilities of today’s media and technology on health, the University of Pittsburgh has created the Center for Research on Media, Technology, and Health (CRMTH).  

Director Dr. Brian Primack said although every generation tends to think its innovations will have dire negative effects, there are reasons to think today’s larger-than-life media portrayals do  have a significant impact on sleep and cognition.

While video games can be addictive and promote aggression, Dr. Primack said the powerful technology can also help people maintain their physical therapy when recovering from fractures or strokes.   “There are great games that can help burn victims be distracted from the pain and the anxiety, especially, for example, when they’re getting their bandages changed.  There are all kinds of opportunities to teach kids with asthma, kids with juvenile diabetes to stick to their behavioral regimens.

Dr. Primack said deeper study of the negative and the positive will enable interventions to improve health.  The new center will be funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.  

Charlee Song has been covering news for 90.5 FM since 2000—an opportunity she considers a great privilege. She finds almost every assignment interesting and really enjoys working with both the veterans and interns at WESA.