Robots can help individuals with managing invisible health conditions, like mental health disorders, and they can also assist caregivers.
FREMONT, CA: Technology-powered clinical interventions are increasingly common in today’s mental health care field, often with the proposed goal to improve access to and cost-effectiveness of care. Advanced technology platforms delivering interventions are majorly mobile applications and websites, although efforts have been made to develop personalized technology experiences. To widen and improve on these platforms, robotics has been increasingly included in conversations of how to deliver technology-assisted, interactive, and responsive mental health and well-being interventions. Read on to know more about it.
The use of robotics in mental health care is developing, but it represents several use cases in the professional’s toolbox. Robotics technology has been applied in several ways in mental healthcare scenarios. Such applications comprise interventions for conditions of autism spectrum disorder to cognitive impairments and ways to encourage physical activity and offer companionship to individuals living alone. Companion-like robots may be an effective treatment to reducing loneliness and lowering blood pressure.
Besides functions like regulating food intake, prompting and providing medication, coaching the person with mental health problems through physical therapy exercises and motivating the person to be active, robots support to accelerate interactions between them and the person they were caring for. Caregiver robots that could facilitate positive interactions with the person like playing favorite songs and inviting them to share a dance, thereby positively impacting mental health wellness. In the context of mental health conditions, robots might be useful in enhancing social behavior. In the context of other health conditions, robots might be useful in enhancing social behaviour to improve mental well-being.
The robotics sector is expanding rapidly, with new players forming, products being developed, and applications appearing in the commercial space in ways unimaginable few years ago. Mental healthcare professionals considering the use of robotics in their practice should be sensitive to how clients might accept a robot.