Technology and the Future of Mental Health Treatment | Guest Post by Summer Larson
Technology is changing the way we understand and support mental health. Mobile devices like cell phones, smartphones, or tablets give people new ways to access help for themselves as well as monitor progress in an easy-to-use format that’s accessible no matter where you are!
Many people with intellectual disabilities are unable to communicate their needs and wants, which often leads them to emotional distress. However new technology can help these individuals get the support that they need through apps on smartphones or tablets! And this is what we call Telemental Health.
For example, crisis centers are organizations dedicated to providing crisis intervention services for those who may be experiencing mental health issues. By simply texting ‘need help’ when needed, someone will respond right away regardless if its night time during day time.
Pros and Cons of Mental Health Apps
IT experts believe that technology has the same potential for both patients and clinicians. So, mobile care is the future of healthcare. It has so many advantages including:
It is the key feature of this service. Patients can now access their treatment anytime and anywhere (e.g. at home in between midnight shifts or on an evening bus ride) which may make it ideal for those who find traditional scheduling difficult because they’re always running late!
Patients can get the privacy they need to speak freely with clinicians. They don’t have to worry about being judged or embarrassed.
Care solutions apps are truly affordable for everyone! Even some of them are free of cost.
Clinicians Can Serve More People
Mental health providers are using technology such as ehr software to reach more people. They can offer treatment in remote areas or during times of sudden need. They can schedule their day according to the appointments they have booked in their EHR apps.
Advanced technologies are more appealing to the patients as compared to traditional treatment methods. It can also encourage patients to complete their treatment.
With advanced technology, the concept of serving round the clock is now a reality.
Technology is an excellent supplement for traditional therapy. It can extend in-person sessions, reinforce new skills learned during treatment and support.
With the help of new technology, we can not only gather patient data such as name, address, location, contact, etc. We can also get data about the disease patient is suffering from. It can be used for further research to find better treatment of mental health problems.
Although that there are too many benefits of technology in treating mental health problems. It also contains several concerns especially when it comes to developing web or mobile medical apps for both patients and clinicians. So, developers are focusing on the following points while developing new technology related to mental health:
The most concerning thing in technological advancement is, to prove scientifically that the latest technology remains much effective as the traditional methods.
Targeting Right People
Another big issue is to make sure that apps work well for all people and mental health patients.
The developers of an app should be able to guarantee that the user’s personal information is safe.\
There is no industry-wide standard to specify whether an app is effective or not in handling mental health issues.
There is no specific department that regulates or is answerable for the data gathered through different apps for mental health patients.
Current Trends in Mental Health Related App Development
In the modern era, developers are combining their skills with mental health experts to solve different mental health concerns in patients. Some of the trending app types for mental health issues are following:
“Self-management” is about getting information into the app so that it can provide feedback. For example, you might set up medication reminders or use apps for managing stress and anxiety problems to help people live better lives with these conditions in mind! Some software also requires additional equipment like heart rate monitors which may track progress towards goals as well give instant insights on how different behaviors affect your health over time – all while giving users access 24/7 365 days per year via their smartphones (or other devices).
Apps for Improving Thinking Skills
Apps that target the user’s mental health are a promising way to help them with cognitive remediation (improved thinking skills). These apps often come in form of games or exercises designed for people who have serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
Skill Teaching Apps
Skill-training apps are becoming more popular than ever before as they teach users how to better manage their mental health. The user might watch an educational video on anxiety management or gain the ability for social support by picking some new strategies from within a game environment. Which then allows them to track whether those skills have been practiced enough with data collection at each stage of gameplay.
Illness Management, Supported Care
The future of mental health is now an app. These innovative tools allow people to connect with trained professionals via their smartphones, tablets, or computers. When they need help dealing with anxiety disorders and other conditions that are difficult (or impossible) to treat. One can reach clinicians that are at far distances like on vacation where you might be thousands of miles away from home but still want access 24/7. We all know how it feels!
Active Symptom Tracking
With the rise of smartphones, developers are working hard to create apps that take advantage of new technology by using your phone’s built-in sensors. These features include things like movement patterns, social interactions (such as how many texts or calls you make) behavior during different times in the day–even sleep data!
Apps in the future may be able to analyze data about your moods. Then help you before a mood change occurs such as mania or depression. An app won’t replace mental health professionals but could alert caregivers when it’s time for them to act for their patients.
Data Collection Apps
Data collection apps allow researchers to gather data from the users without any help. Receiving information about mental health in bulk for a database like PubMed database offered by the National Library of Medicine increases our understanding and can lead us towards better intervention strategies for those who suffer from it.