Mindful Technology: How Tech Is Helping with Mental Health

This article is based in part on trends outlined in the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® report Five Technology Trends to Watch.

Overview The capabilities of technology are now helping to combat the stigmas surrounding mental health and making therapy more accessible.

Though much of the health technology industry focuses on treating physical illnesses, from high blood pressure to cancer, technological advances have also increased access to mental health services, making mental well-being a priority.

One in five adults lives with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. But in the U.S., only 19.8 million people of the 46.6 million adults with a mental illness sought treatment in 2017.

There is a clear need that technology can address in providing better and more access to mental health providers and solutions.

 

Growth and Acceptance

As consumers become both more aware of and more equipped with personal health connected devices and services, technology has the ability to reach more patients and make a difference.

Increasingly, consumers are willing to share personal health data with their physicians and speak more openly about their information. The standardization of software in wearables and health care apps will also further alleviate doubts in telemedicine.

The diversity and advancement of tech such as digital therapeutics has also allowed developers to focus on solutions for complex problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or addiction.

 

Helping Us Thrive

Digital therapeutics is putting control into the hands of the patient and providing unprecedented solutions. Integration with patient-facing apps and clinical dashboards solves a mental health provider shortage and opens up new ways for patients to get help. Telepsychiatry has provided primary care physicians and psychiatrists the opportunity to collaborate, resulting in improvements in patients with depression and anxiety.

Patients have reached goals and sought continued treatment from the comfort of whatever location they choose with new tech innovations such as:

  • Virtual therapy diagnostics tools that offer PTSD screenings to veterans.

  • Virtual reality display technology that help calm anxiety and PTSD symptoms.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy mobile apps that treat addiction and dependencies.

 

Keeping It Private and Personal

Significant in digital therapeutics solutions is the greater privacy and sense of anonymity that comes with them. Patients are empowered to take guided steps to address mental health challenges without needing to see a professional, minimizing the discomfort and vulnerability of face-to-face consultations.

Users of a virtual therapy tool reported feeling safer having an open conversation with the tool, knowing they would not be judged for being honest.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® research predicts that digital therapeutics will continue to grow, paving the way for better and more efficient treatment, monitoring and support for mental well-being needs.

Tech is on the path to get people more involved in their active treatment, providing solutions to some of our heaviest, most pressing challenges.


Learn more about how tech is tackling therapy in CTA’s Five Technology Trends to Watch.

Take a Deeper Dive

5 Technology Trends to Watch

Each year the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® selects five topics to explore how these promising areas could impact our future. For the 2019 edition, we focus on tech tackling therapy in the digital health space, what is coming next in transportation, the future of food, how facial recognition is impacting the world, and robots that will continue to improve lives.

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