Due to the impact of the global pandemic, the healthcare industry is looking for new ways to adapt quickly and safely. For many people, technology has become important. According to a study by the American Psychological Association, 84 percent of psychologists who treat anxiety disorders from a mental health perspective say that demand for treatment has increased since the epidemic began. This is a 74% increase from a year ago. It is already used in many fields and it is clear that the use of AI for mental health is a game changer in providing more effective and personalized treatment plans. Technology not only provides a deeper understanding of patient needs but also helps develop treatment and training skills. Here are four ways AI can improve mental health care:
1. Maintaining high standards of care through quality control
As demand for services grows and workload increases, some mental health clinics are exploring ways to automate quality control between therapists.
Ieso's mental health clinic uses AI to analyze the language used in treatment sessions through natural language processing (NLP). The goal of the clinic is to provide therapists with a high standard of care and provide a better understanding of their work to help trainees improve.
Technology companies have taken note and are providing clinics with tools to better understand the words between therapists and clients. In the UK and US, software company Lyssn provides clinics and universities with technology that improves quality control and education.
2. Clarify the diagnosis and assign the correct therapist.
Artificial intelligence could help doctors detect mental illness earlier and make more accurate choices in treatment plans.
Researchers believe that information from the data can be used to connect prospects with the right therapist and help determine the type of treatment most effective for an individual. 'We will finally get more answers about which treatments are most effective for which combinations of symptoms,' Jennifer Wild, a clinical psychologist at the University of Oxford, told MIT Technology Review.
AI research could also improve diagnosis for different patient subgroups, helping doctors personalize treatment. Using AI technology, therapists can search through vast amounts of data to understand family history, patient behavior, and response to previous treatments, make more accurate diagnoses, and make deeper decisions about treatment and therapist selection.
Machine learning, a type of AI that uses algorithms to make decisions, is also being used to identify types of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in veterans.
3. Monitor patient progress and adjust treatment as needed.
After pairing with a therapist, the patient's progress should be monitored and improvements tracked. AI could help decide when to change treatment or when another therapist is needed.
Lyss, for example, uses algorithms to analyze conversations between therapists and clients and determine how much time to allocate to constructive therapy and general conversations during improvement sessions. The Ieso team also studies facial expressions during sessions, focusing only on the patient, not the therapist. In a recent paper, the team identified responses from clients to 'activating change talk' such as 'I don't want to live like this anymore' and 'exploring change talk' about how clients think about it. Keep going. Make a difference. The team noted that not hearing such statements during treatment is a warning sign that the treatment is not working. AI transcripts can also be used by clients to study the language used by successful therapists who have made similar statements to educate other therapists in their field.
4. Evidence for cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) instead of drugs
Drug use has increased as a treatment for mental health problems such as depression. According to the NHS, the number of patients prescribed antidepressants in England rose by 23% in the third quarter of 2020-2021 compared to the same quarter in 2015-2016.
However, the UK's National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recently updated its guidelines to encourage the use of pre-treatment CBT for mild depression. So researchers say AI could help validate CBT as a treatment In an article in JAMA Psychiatry, researchers used artificial intelligence to distinguish expressions used in conversations between therapists and patients. CBT focuses on identifying negative thought patterns and finding ways to break them. In other words, the therapist uses affirmation to discuss how to change and plan for the future. The researchers concluded that higher levels of CBT chatting during a session were associated with a higher recovery rate than regular chatting.