Game-changing technology in mental health care

PETALING JAYA: The use of technology will soon help in mental health tests, says Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris psychologist and counselor Assoc Prof Dr Fauziah Mohd Saad.

He added that innovations such as artificial intelligence-driven predictive analytics will enable immediate interventions and transform the provision of mental health care.

Precision medicine is beginning to fulfill its promise as technology allows customization of individualized treatment regimens.

This means that therapeutic methods are closely matched to the genetic profiles and demands of each patient.

Fauziah said beyond such innovations, digital mental health tools enable access to care and bridge the gaps in accessibility and affordability.

He also said the tools will help reduce stigma around mental health, expand access to treatment for underserved groups and promote a comprehensive approach to mental well-being.

He said in the modern mental health landscape, advanced technological tools such as teletherapy apps and online counseling platforms are changing the delivery of care.

Teletherapy apps bridge distance barriers and enable remote counseling sessions, while online platforms offer structured counseling environments.

Mental health tracking apps help individuals monitor their well-being, while real-time monitoring helps clinicians tailor treatments and improve personalized mental health care.

Fauziah said therapeutic tools have been integrated into clinical settings to closely mimic traditional therapy and aid in diagnostics through digital assessments.

He added that digital mental health interventions are carefully tailored to address the multifaceted and individual nature of such conditions.

Machine learning algorithms analyze mental health conditions through data to identify trends and details unique to each person’s mental health profile.

This personalized approach ensures users receive targeted interventions that address their specific needs and foster a more effective therapeutic experience.

However, Fauziah said barriers to equal access to mental health technology include digital literacy gaps, socioeconomic disparities and internet limitations.

He said that to counter them, efforts should be made to emphasize education, subsidize technology costs and strengthen internet infrastructure.

Clinical psychologist Dr Joel Low says digital interventions, spanning mobile apps and online platforms, are changing the landscape of mental health services.

They offer unparalleled convenience, reduce traditional barriers and ensure that more individuals can access important mental health resources.

However, legal issues such as verifying the age of users persist, as therapy services typically require parental consent for those under 18.

Low said despite such obstacles, digital platforms have bridged geographical gaps and now benefit even those in remote areas who previously had no access to therapists.

He also said that digital interventions have proven useful for providing mental health care, adding that the integration of technology in therapy mainly improves accessibility and streamlines logistical tasks.

While face-to-face interactions foster deep connections, the convenience and reach offered by technology are undeniable advantages in modern therapeutic practices.

He said data protection and confidentiality are the most important factors to consider when incorporating technology into mental health therapy.

Many practitioners use benchmarks such as the US Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 to ensure the highest level of data protection.

As technology advances, maintaining this trust becomes more critical and requires constant vigilance and protection to safeguard information on digital platforms.

Low said emerging research highlights the effectiveness of technology-based mental health interventions, adding that the personal nature of therapy means preferences for digital versus traditional methods have -different among therapists and patients.

Recognizing this diversity underscores that mental health care is not one-size-fits-all despite advances in technology.

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