Recommendations for the Adoption of Digital Mental Health Tools

Feb 11, 2021

The pandemic has sped up the need to adopt more digital mental health tools than any other reason. Many companies are now adopting more digital mental healthcare tools. Startups are also inventing more tools and avenues to access digital mental health tools.

Since the pandemic started, there’s been about $2 billion investment in digital mental health tools. Ever since the FDA waived the requirement to submit a 510(k) premarket notification on computerized behavioral devices, there’s been a boost in this area.

However, there are a couple of challenges that still exist in this space. The major challenges are the lack of compensation and the need for evidence. A group of psychiatry stakeholders wrote a paper to give three significant recommendations to tackle these challenges. Here they are;

Offer digital mental health as a treatment

Consciously offering digital mental health as an option for treatment is the first step to making it stay. Notably, patients with PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other related mental health issues tend to utilize this option when recommended by a coach or doctor they trust. When there’s proof that doctors or coaches recommend these tools, patients are more likely to use them.

Make digital mental health reimbursable

If we find ways to integrate reimbursement mechanisms into healthcare, patients can have more reasons to utilize them. The way it is right now, most digital health tools don’t have billing codes, making it harder to pay for these treatments. However, if the new set of CPT codes that the American Medical Association has put out can be integrated into digital mental health, it’ll be easier to shift to a virtual setting.

Build a sturdy framework

The most effective recommendation to enhance digital mental health tools use is the building of evidence standard frameworks. This is because frameworks help healthcare providers select the most effective and safe products for that purpose. Building a framework includes regulation from the FDA, comprehensive clinical trials conduction, and privacy policies regulation.

Patients who use digital mental health tools such as apps need to be assured of adequate privacy, and that trusted authorities have verified the use of these tools. An evidence standard that clearly ensures confidentiality should ensue amongst these digital mental health tools.

Summing up, patients need to be ensured a certain standard of effectiveness and confidentiality. When this is present, people will be encouraged to utilize mental health tools.

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