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Digital Innovations for Global Mental Health: Opportunities for Data Science, Task Sharing, and Early Intervention


Naslund, John A; Gonsalves, Pattie P; Gruebner, Oliver; Pendse, Sachin R; Smith, Stephanie L; Sharma, Amit; Raviola, Giuseppe (2019). Digital Innovations for Global Mental Health: Opportunities for Data Science, Task Sharing, and Early Intervention. Current Treatment Options in Psychiatry, 6(4):337-351.

Abstract

Purpose
Globally, individuals living with mental disorders are more likely to have access to a mobile phone than mental health care. In this commentary, we highlight opportunities for expanding access to and use of digital technologies to advance research and intervention in mental health, with emphasis on the potential impact in lower resource settings.
Recent findings
Drawing from empirical evidence, largely from higher income settings, we considered three emerging areas where digital technology will potentially play a prominent role: supporting methods in data science to further our understanding of mental health and inform interventions, task sharing for building workforce capacity by training and supervising non-specialist health workers, and facilitating new opportunities for early intervention for young people in lower resource settings. Challenges were identified related to inequities in access, threats of bias in big data analyses, risks to users, and need for user involvement to support engagement and sustained use of digital interventions.
Summary
For digital technology to achieve its potential to transform the ways we detect, treat, and prevent mental disorders, there is a clear need for continued research involving multiple stakeholders, and rigorous studies showing that these technologies can successfully drive measurable improvements in mental health outcomes.

Abstract

Purpose
Globally, individuals living with mental disorders are more likely to have access to a mobile phone than mental health care. In this commentary, we highlight opportunities for expanding access to and use of digital technologies to advance research and intervention in mental health, with emphasis on the potential impact in lower resource settings.
Recent findings
Drawing from empirical evidence, largely from higher income settings, we considered three emerging areas where digital technology will potentially play a prominent role: supporting methods in data science to further our understanding of mental health and inform interventions, task sharing for building workforce capacity by training and supervising non-specialist health workers, and facilitating new opportunities for early intervention for young people in lower resource settings. Challenges were identified related to inequities in access, threats of bias in big data analyses, risks to users, and need for user involvement to support engagement and sustained use of digital interventions.
Summary
For digital technology to achieve its potential to transform the ways we detect, treat, and prevent mental disorders, there is a clear need for continued research involving multiple stakeholders, and rigorous studies showing that these technologies can successfully drive measurable improvements in mental health outcomes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:1 December 2019
Deposited On:13 Jan 2020 10:21
Last Modified:22 Jan 2020 11:15
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:2196-3061
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40501-019-00186-8

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