Technology has made a variety of interesting tools available to mental health practitioners.
And while some have been hesitant to employ these tools in the past, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have highlighted the importance of being able to reach and help patients using digital tools.
Here are some of the ways in which technology has been helping mental health practitioners take care of their patients.
1 – Assessment and tracking
Through online surveys, exercises, and video conferences, technology can be a powerful tool to help practitioners keep an eye on their patients. Digital tools can be used to assess the status of a patient, how they are progressing, where they might need help in the future, and more. This also helps partitioners spot subtle changes in behavior that might have gone otherwise unmentioned.
For example, if a patient who always completed their survey in the morning starts doing it in the afternoon, that could mean that they are suffering from insomnia, or no longer wake up as motivated as they used to.
2 – Boosting engagement
Apps can be a powerful engagement tool when you are trying to help your patient build certain habits, or avoid certain activities. Apps can be used to send a patient reminders, notifications, and motivational messages, all straight to their phone.
These don’t have to be empty platitudes, as a mental health practitioner, you can select an app that lets you set up custom notifications for each patient, so you can write messages and notifications that speak directly to them and their needs. You can get this if you select a solution made with mental health practitioners in mind, like the Quenza app.
3 – Providing useful activities
There are a variety of activities that can help patients improve and/or manage their conditions. And digital tools can do more than remind your patient that it is time to meditate or exercise. They can also track the patient’s performance and let you see trends in their behavior.
Some activities are easier to track than others. Online activities such as listening to audios or watching videos can be tracked directly through software, so you’ll know if the patient heard the full audio or watched the entire video. While exercise can be tracked with the help of an exercise watch.
It all adds up to more information that you can use to help your patient in the future. And since everything is stored digitally, you can easily keep track of their progress and performance for months and years.
4 – Letting the patient help themselves
Digital tools can also be a powerful tool when patients aren’t very social or need some space. Someone who might feel anxious answering questions in person may find that they have no trouble filling out an online questionnaire or answering questions made by a chatbot.
Some patients may also find that they have an easier time discussing certain issues over text or email. Which might not be the best long-term solution, but is nonetheless a useful tool to have. Especially during lockdowns, when a lack of good options is often the norm.