Seeing as the healthcare industry hasn’t developed any breakthrough mental health drugs in nearly three decades, the digital world and society we live in have taken it upon themselves to look for and create new technologies that can facilitate open lines of communication as well as the further study of mental health. While it often gets a bad reputation for the ways in which it distracts today’s youth, innovations in technology and social media are actually positively influencing the way in which people feel, talk about, process and share their struggles with mental health.
Analyzing The Language Of Mental Health
Researchers at the University of Melbourne have conducted studies that use artificial intelligence to assess the mental health of an individual. By combining smart learning technology with computational linguistics, analysts believe that they can work to learn how someone is feeling simply based on what they are typing online or in a text message. This type of artificial intelligence is thought to be able to detect early onset mental health issues and treat them before they worsen.
Making Life Easier
Simply put, technology makes life easier. From the ability to sync all of your calendars, appointments, reminders and even your home to one central hub has made it immensely easier to stay on top of everything you have to do. As simple as it may sound, individuals struggling with mental health issues such as PTSD, anxiety and depression find it much easier to manage themselves, their emotions and their life if the general day-to-day things at home are taken care of. The automation of homes with smart technology such as smart thermostats, smart doorbells with cameras, and smart learning voice assistants can make all the difference for someone struggling to simply make it out of bed.
Creating Access To Mental Health Professionals
While the US continues to experience a shortage of qualified mental health professionals, there is still a large gap in developing countries and other areas where access to medical care, in general, is hard to come by. Digital technologies provide people with a way to access one-on-one therapy through video or chat with just the touch of a button. This is a major advancement, particularly for individuals who might live in an area where physically seeing a therapist is still something that’s viewed as taboo. Furthermore, these types of apps often provide users with 24/7 access and care, which helps prevent the elevation of a particularly difficult emotional episode.
The Future Of Digital Mental Health Care
Medical professionals note that it is important to ensure that an individual suffering from any sort of mental health issue does not rely solely on digital care and treatment. These types of technologies, while still in the early stages of development and implementation, are beginning to change the way that people can access care, integrate it into their daily lives, and explore treatment options that don’t require the use of medication or in-person therapy. As technologies expand in the future, there will be a more widespread adoption and improvement while also generating the need for a discussion surrounding patient privacy and data protection.