The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives in unprecedented ways and has highlighted the need for tech-enabled healthcare solutions. With mental health equally affected by the pandemic as physical health, modern technology and the latest tools can be helpful in expanding mental health care in ways we might not have been familiar with in the past.
Even though the adoption of tech-enabled tools and solutions across behavioral healthcare has increased in recent years, things seem to have been fast-tracked by the impact created by COVID-19. And, the trend is expected to continue in future as well. This increase in the use of technology in mental healthcare will primarily be driven by the number of people impacted by self-isolation, loss of a loved one, loss of employment and financial security, as well as the PTSD experienced by the frontline health workers during the pandemic.
Let’s discover how mental health care has been transformed with the use of technology during and post COVID-19.
Top 3 Mental Health Care Initiatives During COVID-19
Many companies have launched their tech-enabled solutions during COVID-19 to help individuals with stress, anxiety, and PTSD. Here we have the top three companies that are addressing mental health care needs by leveraging technology.
1. ForeFront TeleCare
The company was founded with the aim to deliver top-quality behavioral telehealth services to seniors as well as other adults vulnerable to different health conditions in rural communities all over the US. Recently, they have launched the third phase of #RuralHealthSTRONG COVID-19 for providing peer-to-peer counseling to frontline healthcare workers for free.
Mindoula is a mental health care initiative with a platform that comprises proprietary psychometrics with predictive analysis and a messenger app for mobile engagement. With the help of this platform, Mindoula has become the market leader when it comes to reduction in hospital readmissions, care coordination for individuals with serious mental health conditions, collaborative care, tele-psychiatry, care network reduction, and Emergency Department overlay services.
Tridiuum’s technology solutions can help measure a patient’s behavioral health on a regular basis. Their solutions are designed to help identify people who are in need of behavioral help using an advanced analytics engine, fast-track their access to necessary mental health care, and deliver measurable outcomes. Their tech-based solutions lay the foundation for an individual’s behavioral health evaluation while providing support for clinical decision making.
Such companies will continue to see increased demand for their tech solutions and services post-COVID as the number of individuals presenting low- and high-acuity mental and behavioral health needs rises.
How Technology Could Be Used For Expanding Mental Health Care
There could be different possible ways to implement technology for expanding mental health care besides the initiatives taken by the top companies mentioned above. Let’s dive a bit deeper into it.
1. Smartphone Apps Could Be Used For Helping People Cope With Depression And Anxiety
Even though the number of apps for mental health is not as high as those meant for physical health, you can access around 800 mental health apps today. Mostly, these apps have been designed for helping users cope with the anxiety symptoms, share their individual stories, and complete different repetitive calming actions.
Mental health smartphone apps can’t just help patients with their prevailing conditions, they can be a source of useful data for therapists, physicians, and health care informatics experts. Some of the top mental health apps already in use today for dealing with anxiety and depression include:
These apps can be a great help to individuals facing mental health issues as well as the frontline workers serving during the COVID-19.
2. Support Groups On The Internet Can Be A Source Of Guidance
Many individuals do not feel too comfortable attending physical support groups in their vicinity. Others might not have time to take off their regular meeting hours for such activities. Fortunately, websites like the Big White Wall are a great alternative providing internet-based support groups. Users of these groups can anonymously reveal their struggles and engage with the participants to kill the stress and feel relaxed.
3. Telehealth Might Can Make Mental Health Care More Accessible
Besides the smartphone apps and the support groups on the internet, telehealth can also make mental health care easily accessible by allowing individuals to consult with a healthcare professional via video conference or phone calls. Telehealth can be quite beneficial for treating mental health conditions helping individuals feel more comfortable and reduce the costs involved at the same time. It can also help patients who are hesitant in having one-on-one sessions with their therapist or mental health consultant.
Mental health care has been transformed with the use of technology and more work is being done in this domain. Post-COVID there will be more apps coming up and new initiatives will be taken for expanding medical health care and making it more accessible and effective for the individuals suffering from anxiety, stress, depression, and PTSD.