Keeping Mental Health in Check with Technology

Keeping Mental Health in Check with Technology

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Monday, September 06, 2021

Medication adherence can be a significant issue for people with a mental health condition; therefore, digital tablets could help clinicians warrant that patients take their medications as recommended, potentially preventing severe outcomes.

FREMONT, CA: Out of necessity, mental health providers have been forced to employ specific new technological solutions due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, as these technologies become more sophisticated, more doctors will use them because of their underlying promise: greater patient outcomes.

Here are three technological advancements that will impact mental healthcare:

Digital Pills            

The FDA approved the first digital pill in 2017, but the firm that created it filed for bankruptcy this year. Nonetheless, the technology appears to be promising, and other companies are working to bring items to market. Essentially, the goal is to develop a pill with a sensor that captures data, allowing doctors to track patient adherence to their treatment regimen in real-time. Medication adherence can be a significant issue for people with a mental health condition; therefore, digital tablets could help clinicians warrant that patients take their medications as recommended, potentially preventing severe outcomes.

Digital Symptom Tracking

Manually tracking mental health symptoms is inefficient and time-consuming. On the initial therapy visit, one will fill out a paper form and report any new symptoms at each in-person consultation. Those symptoms are recorded in an electronic health record, which is generally not designed for data analysis. Online symptom tracking, on the other hand, encourages patients to exchange data daily. An AI computer examines the data to spot patterns and notify providers in real-time if there are any red flags. The least futuristic-sounding tool is digital symptom tracking, which serves as a critical step toward enhancing mental health treatment for the future.

Virtual Reality (VR) for Mental Health

The cost of VR technology has dropped drastically in recent years, putting novel therapy within reach of ordinary doctors and patients. Virtual reality tools, according to research, can successfully cure anxiety, phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other illnesses. In a VR classroom, children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) can practice focusing. Autistic people can practice negotiating difficult social settings such as job interviews. It is also possible that VR might aid in the treatment of the pandemic's spike in anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders.

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