Verily Researchers Recommend Psychiatrists to Benefit from Analytics, Digital Sensors

August 28, 2018  Source: HealthcareITNews 161

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As healthcare sees an emergence of digitalization in reaping the best outcomes in patients and a surge in investments by hospitals in patient-centric mobile apps and software, experts recommend psychiatrists to benefit from the latest technologies which could enhance mental health delivery.

Robert Califf, MD, a former FDA Commissioner and researchers from Verily stated in a published article that the humungous amount of data and analytics and digital sensing should be integrated into mental health care to result in best patient care and standardization of protocols and patient outcomes, otherwise unachievable in subjective case management.

 “For the most part, psychiatric practice continues to rely upon heuristic-based decisions that are frequently reinforced without good comparative evidence, and often for the sake of maintaining a therapeutic relationship for lack of a better alternative. At best, this approach allows practice to remain patient-centered, but at worst, this approach could be maintaining biases that are preventing patients from receiving optimal care,” the authors noted in npj Digital Medicine. “We propose that today’s era of technological innovations in wearables and mobile devices offers a unique opportunity to redefine these limits of practice toward a new, data-driven future.”

The authors went forward and pinpointed four critical areas to target to get this into practice. They recommended data pooling from the real population outside clinics, purchasing and implementing data science and analytics, patient-centric care and real feedback from the patient’s experience, and training of physicians to use this software.

The authors concluded by saying, “We believe that data-driven psychiatry is possible and that digital measurement tools and analytics, as ‘objective yardsticks,’ can help catalyze this future. With appropriate attention to real world clinical outcomes, data science, patient experience, and the role of clinical judgment with respect to standard of care, psychiatric practice can leapfrog into a modern era already occupied by other medical fields. For the sake of future patients, there is no better time for this investment than today.”

By Ddu
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