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Using Tech to Battle Mental Health

by Paul Barr

Hospitals & Health Networks

Article excerpt

Mass General Network Tests Use of Smartphones in Behavioral Health Care

The use of wearables to monitor health over the course of a patient’s day has grown sharply in recent years, and a new federally backed initiative aims to test mHealth monitoring in behavioral health care. The initiative, run by Massachusetts General Hospital and its patient-driven research network, the MoodNetwork, will test the use of technology that monitors patients’ voices, texts and call patterns to predict the recurrence of depression and mania.

Our take

Beyond the Spoken Word: What We Can Discern From Considering Technology Differently

Smartphones aren’t just for talking. As one healthcare organization has found, smartphones can be used for detecting changes in patient voices and phone behaviors to help predict behavioral health risks. It’s just one more example of new ways that technology can be used to improve healthcare, particularly in high risk, high demand areas like behavioral health. Are you doing enough to explore new innovative ways to leverage technology for better patient care?

Mental health has been a major area of concern and limited resources for some time now; it’s also proving to be an area that lends itself to the use of technology to enhance access and, as this example illustrates, minimize risks. Having discussions around your own unique care challenges and demands can be a good starting point for identifying areas where technology can minimize provider demands, increase patient access and achieve engagement. Examples of how others are leveraging technology in innovative ways can also serve to spur discussions.