Technology has traditionally been portrayed in science fiction as a way to enhance human existence. Numerous speculative scenarios emphasize the use of cutting-edge technology to improve healthcare. Popular concepts include autonomous robotic stations that can carry out intricate surgical procedures without human aid and holographic physicians preprogrammed with medical knowledge gained over generations.

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Of course, there are already a huge number of procedures, medical tests, and pieces of equipment that utilize cutting-edge technology. However, technology, which is part of everyday life, is also advancing mental health. Smartphones, mobile apps, tablets, software, personal computers, and the Internet have various positive effects.

The ongoing management of recovery is a crucial component of treating mental health disorders. Treatment for many mental diseases is not a one-time task; it needs to be administered continuously to remain successful. Numerous factors go into this recovery management, including additional instruction, record-keeping, medicine reminders, progress tracking, and more. Many people can manage crucial everyday tasks that help them sustain and enhance their mental well-being with the help of startups that utilize technology and apps.

In this article, we will look at the top startups that are changing healthcare industry with the help of technology. Finally, we will be looking at the contribution of Ai in the field of mental health. Let’s begin!

How technology can help with mental health

It may appear that technology and mental health are strongly opposed concepts. However, there are fantastic digital resources available to support your practice of mindfulness and meditation. You can also use digital gadgets like smartphones, virtual reality programs, and applications to relieve stress and achieve digital detox because, after some time, you would be able to perform various anti-anxiety techniques on your own. Other than these, precise applications of technology in the mental health care field is-

1. Websites providing immediate help

Anyone with internet access can use online resources to learn more about mental health issues, their signs and symptoms, tips to improve mental health, and available treatments. You can even search for what are the top mental health companies or perhaps companies focused on mental health and find relevant websites for the same.

Informational websites like NHS and Mind can offer helpful information. You can frequently encounter folks online who have experienced comparable mental health issues. Reading about other people’s experiences with mental health can assist you in feeling less isolated and validate your own experiences. There are many different online groups where people can share their experiences with one another, including forums and communities dedicated specifically to mental health.

2. The concept of E-therapy

The Internet has made access to mental health care easier, and for some people, utilizing the Internet can help them get over the stigma that has long been associated with mental illness. E-therapy programs, which use the web or mobile devices, are a popular choice since they are convenient, need no travel time, and allow for flexible scheduling. These can be useful for those who would feel more at ease discussing issues in private rather than in person.

3. Mental health apps

Apps for mental health are practical and available. They may be accessed at any time and from any location, making them a valuable resource for those who would find it difficult to access other possibilities. The majority of apps to help with mental health also have specific safeguards in place that enable users to find information in a confidential and secure manner. Numerous apps, including those that occupy your thoughts, reduce stress, or monitor your mood, can support mental health. For instance, meditation applications may provide breathing exercises that might enhance relaxation and sleep.

4. Virtual activities

Virtual events have grown quickly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during the initial lockdown. Virtual tours of art galleries, zoos, and live music performances offered from the homes of artists were all available. Pub quizzes have become a very popular choice, frequently conducted between friends and relatives via video chats, giving individuals an opportunity to communicate. Workout videos are a terrific method to stay in shape while also promoting good mental health, frequently lowering anxiety and despair.

5. Chatbots and voice assistants

The idea of speaking to another person about a problem is sometimes a barrier for many individuals, which is why chatbots are more popular as a solution. Despite the fact that our voice assistants are unintentionally acting as therapists, there are some areas where AI therapy is being investigated on its own. If you mention to Google Home or Alexa that you’re lonely, they will answer (Alexa offers advice; speak to a friend; go on a stroll; Google assures you that it is there for you).

Due to machine learning and natural language processing, chatbots are becoming smarter and better able to engage with us as technology advances. Chatbots for mental health can offer a sympathetic ear, a place to voice problems and intrusive thoughts, or to engage in “therapeutic” chit-talk. They can respond empathetically and gauge the service user’s mood based on verbal input.

 

What role could artificial intelligence play in mental healthcare?

AI can be a critical component of treatment in addition to diagnosing and evaluating symptoms. Mental health issues are typically treated with medication and psychiatric counseling. Using AI, doctors can keep track of patients’ progress during therapy and increase medication adherence over time. We will be talking about this explicitly now- The current focus of artificial intelligence applications for mental health is:

1. Conducting therapy and self-evaluation sessions

This function primarily consists of keyword-triggered and NLP chatbots that assist patients in determining the course and severity of a mental illness as well as how to manage its symptoms, either independently or with the assistance of a licensed psychiatrist waiting on the other side of the virtual line.

Wearable tech that monitors vital signs like blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen levels, and other indicators of changes in a person’s mental and physical health may also be used in conjunction with AI-powered diagnostic solutions.

2. Examining patient information to identify illnesses

The information that will be analyzed may come from a patient’s social media accounts, voice recordings, surveys, and even electronic health records (together with results from blood tests and brain scans). To interpret patient data and identify mental and physical symptoms — such as boredom, pain, stress, mind-wandering, or suicidal thoughts — linked to specific mental health illnesses, data scientists use a range of techniques, including standard supervised learning as well as natural language processing.

3. Supplying technology to therapists to evaluate treatment progress

Psychiatrists rarely rely on outdated technology or the counsel of other medical professionals when evaluating medical data and creating treatment plans for patients because of the very essence of mental health disorders. The adoption of AI-driven mental health technologies that automatically extract data from various hospital IT systems and provide on-demand reports about each patient’s progress, current status, and potential outcomes could be one way to minimize the administrative burden.

Conclusion

Healthcare services are now utilizing these technologies to assess health, avoid problems, and cure them thanks to the internet’s and applications’ continued expansion. Technology is used in digital health, also known as e-health, to help people’s health and wellness.

It is the application of technology to activities like digital record-keeping, online reservation platforms, online refill requests, and some more creative applications of technology that have contributed to the mental health industry’s growth.

The above-mentioned startups and applications bring into the limelight the situation of mental health businesses and the mental health care system in the world. With the help of these digital mental health companies, the people who actually need mental health support services can get easy access to the same. The mental health benefits and mental health counseling have been highlighted and put to good use with these startups.

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