Health implications of new-age technologies: a systematic review

Minerva Pediatr. 2017 Aug;69(4):348-367. doi: 10.23736/S0026-4946.17.04937-4. Epub 2017 Apr 20.


Introduction: New-age technologies are ubiquitous in the lives of adolescents. Recent trends in media use suggest that adolescents are spending more time than ever engaging with technologies, and are able to do so in virtually all settings at any time. Given that new-age technologies are so heavily integrated within the daily life of adolescents, the health risks and benefits they offer must be closely examined.

Evidence acquisition: In this systematic review, we present recent literature related to the implications of new-age technologies on adolescent health. A total of 94 articles published since 2006 were collected using PubMed and Google Scholar on the most popular new-age technologies among adolescents: the internet, television, cell phones, and video games.

Evidence synthesis: The current body of research highlights several health risks related to these technologies. Nearly all have the potential for addiction, which can result in other symptoms and impair one's daily life. Excessive use can affect several components of health, such as quality of sleep, body composition, and mental well-being, and certain practices (viewing pornography, sexting) can lead to risky sexual behaviors. However, the technologies discussed in the present review also have tremendous potential to promote adolescent health.

Conclusions: Pediatricians must educate parents and patients on how to safely use technology to minimize the potentially harmful outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adolescent Health*
  • Behavior, Addictive / epidemiology*
  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Television / statistics & numerical data
  • Video Games / adverse effects
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data