Digital psychiatry is a new field but maybe not as new as we would think. Over the past five years it has grown in interest and research. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other organizations have published guidance and developed programs to foster development of responsible and safe mental health related technologies. This interesting news came to us from Psychiatric Times in their article, “Digital Psychiatry: Augmenting the Future of Mental Health Practice.”
Digital psychiatry has considerable potential to change future clinical practice and to augment the work of clinicians and researchers. The digital means of measuring almost every component of the mental state exam is a good place to start. This cornerstone of clinical practice remains subjective and non-quantitative, and technology may allow for a more quantitative and objective way of assessment. The task of taking enormous amounts of data and making it meaningful is no easy feat, and arguably one of the most difficult. Maybe through technologies like machine learning, discoveries can be made that allow for models to help predict relapse or treatment response. These advances could ultimately make it possible to understand patients in a data-driven way.
Melody K. Smith
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