One of the many takeaways from the COVID-19 period that hit the entire world was the need to focus more on mental and behavioral health. By the end of the global lockdown, the number of individuals suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and other behavioral health issues increased.
In consequence, this left the health sector grasping for ways to handle such a surge and ensure that the required treatments reach more patients before things get any worse. Luckily, the digital health world has improved significantly during the pandemic and post-pandemic period.
The rise of telehealth has been a game-changer in the medical field. Access to health care is a significant problem in many parts of the world, and telehealth is at the forefront of efforts to solve this problem.
While the digital and technological industries continue to revolutionize the health care system in general, the behavioral health care subsector still lags in many ways. However, several best practices have emerged in digital behavioral health to ensure that this subsector catches up and meets the standard demanded by the general public.
This article looks at some of the best practices and how they can improve the behavioral health sector’s future.
- Care Personalization
One of the best ways for digital behavioral health to help people in the long run is to make care and support systems more personalized. This can help effectively accommodate a patient’s challenges, progress, regressions, and results.
When it comes to digital behavioral health, medical assessments utilize generalization when dealing with diagnosis and treatment. Symptoms are generally the pointers to a specific ailment, and the same applies to behavioral or mental health conditions.
One of the many solutions to mental health through digitalization is the creation and introduction of software and applications like Ada, Wellframe, Youper, neuroflow.com, and many others. These applications are designed to provide first-level diagnosis, support, and treatment to patients and users.
Many of these mental health applications, software, and websites provide diagnosis, support, and treatment based on a database of information. You can be diagnosed with anxiety based on general symptoms of difficulty controlling feelings, constant worry, restless thoughts, difficulty concentrating, etc.
Consequently, treatment is provided based on available solutions or methods programmed into these applications. Nevertheless, by personalizing care, working on the premise that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ is crucial.
Moreover, it’s best to take into consideration the peculiarity and individuality of the human mind to create a more credible solution. Doing so will provide a more personalized support system that can adapt to changes. It’ll also give people more options for treatment, which can lead to better results.
- Simplified Information
Users and patients with mental health issues often encounter confusing and overwhelming information about their conditions. Often, the lack of clear and simplified information causes a spike in the recession treatment process.
Patients may discontinue treatment if they don’t understand what their treatment entails. It sometimes happens when a patient is overwhelmed and confused by the information consumed. Hence, not knowing what to do might lead to confusion and new problems.
A way to ensure that the digitalized solutions to mental health issues are effective is to have the programs deliver simplified and easy-to-understand information. This will help users and members of such platforms to consume, understand, and apply the information easily and effectively.
Here are some ways this solution can be done:
- Turn the information into simple, personalized content that identifies with each individual.
- Provide daily information that comes in small digestible quantities.
- Create simple to-do lists of treatments with explanations of expected results that members can easily see and identify with.
By simplifying information, patients can no longer see their issues as a long page of incomprehensible words. They’ll learn everything from diagnosis to treatment options with the help of this information. Furthermore, it helps them become active participants in their treatment and recovery.
- Make Care Convenient And Discreet
Mental health problems have always been viewed with prejudice. There was a time when people who were open about their mental health struggles were viewed by the world as freaks. Nowadays, many people with mental health issues still avoid therapy because they’re embarrassed or afraid to talk about it.
An excellent way to break this barrier is to provide discreet and convenient access to members. It can help them seek treatment in a way that doesn’t add to their worries about being mislabeled by society. Hence, offering care in privacy with comfort and convenience would significantly impact treatment outcomes.
- Learning About The Needs By Gaining Insights
Many times, care teams find their patients and members declining in performance or recovery and wonder what the issue might be and how to solve them. Asking directly through traditional assessments often yields poor results.
However, with digitized innovations, a good practice to keep the programs and treatments working is to use mobile surveys, automated and discreet messaging, interactive platforms, and mobile screenings.
These methods will allow the care teams to understand the issues and barriers that members and individuals face concerning their mental health. Furthermore, this allows the teams to discreetly offer guidance and support based on these needs.
- Use Real Professionals
Behavioral health patients often refuse treatments because they believe machines and artificial intelligence (AI) are incapable of empathizing with their experiences. Therefore, a good practice would be to include and involve real professionals in the treatment process.
Using anonymous messaging or video chats with trained social workers, clinical personnel, or health professionals would offer better reassurance to the patients. Real human support and guidance will go a long way in establishing trust and promoting better engagement with the care program and treatment.
Digital behavioral health is making waves and creating positive outcomes in the mental health sector. However, more positive effects are expected to emerge with the introduction of the practices mentioned above. And with time, the digital behavioral health sector can become a leading health care area that can provide excellent results.