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Great digital tools for mental health



In the United States, there is a mental health care crisis. In 2017-2018, 60% of young people with serious depression got no mental health therapy, while one-quarter of adults with mental illness said they had an unmet treatment requirement. In the United States, 55% of counties lack a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker, and 70% lack a child psychiatrist. Queues for drug addiction treatment may last weeks, and 70 percent of individuals who required it in 2017 did not get it. In addition, in reaction to pandemic health concerns, numerous practises have closed or curtailed their capacity.

Innovative mental health vendors are increasingly merging digital tools and virtual care to establish a solid ecosystem for end-to-end patient care, which includes guiding patients to in-person therapy as necessary. This set of technologies delivers scalable solutions and enhanced flexibility to the mental health treatment system, while also enhancing consumer access and convenience. As a result of these advantages, the majority of employer-sponsored health plans now include virtual and digital mental health treatment choices.


How effective are digital services and virtual care? A meta-analysis of 452 telepsychiatry studies published in 2016 indicated excellent patient satisfaction and quality comparable to in-person therapy. In addition, a research conducted by the Veterans Administration in 2020 discovered that video telepsychotherapy was just as successful as in-person office-based treatment in treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. In general, the majority of published research demonstrate that telephonic mental health care is just as effective as in-person treatment for depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.


Digital solutions that deliver animated and/or human video training, content libraries, and exercises have produced similar outcomes. In the treatment of anxiety, depression, and insomnia, digital CBT programmes have proved to be just as successful as in-person CBT. In one randomised, placebo-controlled study of web-based CBT for insomnia, sleep quality and wakefulness improved. Many big organisations have adopted this system, which is now known as Sleepio. In randomised clinical studies, a chatbot created by Woebot that gives CBT, DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy), and mindfulness assistance resulted in substantial improvements in young people' anxiety and despair. In registrants in a digitally administered resilience programme, meQuilibrium, a stress and resilience software and programme currently accessible via many workplaces, demonstrated a substantial favourable dose-response impact on stress and associated symptoms.


Each of these sorts of health-care services may be given in a HIPAA-compliant way with adequate privacy safeguards.



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