mHealth, or mobile health, is the use of mobile devices such as mobiles phones or tablets, to support the delivery of healthcare or health information, usually through the use of apps. mHealth can be used to improve mental health services in a variety of ways. For example, it could be used to help patients to self-monitor their symptoms; to provide people with medication or appointment reminders; to provide access therapeutic help or support; to review medical records and share data; or to have quicker consultations. CAMHS.Digital are excited to examine specific ways mHealth can be used to improve the preventative mental health of children and young people.
Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) bring exciting new opportunities to the world of mental health. These technologies are becoming increasingly available and affordable, so offer hope to overstretched mental health services. They give us the chance to develop a range of interventions that can be accessed on demand, and made accessible to more people. It is hoped that VR and AR interventions may be particularly attractive to children and young people, and help them to engage with therapeutic support in their own homes.
Virtual Reality allows a person to be transported into a computer generated interactive environment, offering personalised and immersive scenarios, which could be used to help patients to deal with a whole range of psychological difficulties. For example, VR could help people to learn to cope with situations they find difficult, by allowing them to replay them in a safe and carefully controlled environment. Augmented Reality also offers the chance for more personalised and immersive tools, which may make treatment more accessible and effective. AR works by overlaying computer-generated images on a real-time scene, displaying digital components in a person’s immediate environment. There are many potential uses of AR technology in mental health, and we are exploring how to use AR to help children and young people who self-harm in our mSootheBox app.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to technology which allows machines to perform complex tasks that would usually require human intelligence. For example, machine algorithms now have the ability to make decisions, solve problems and predict outcomes. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to revolutionise mental healthcare (RSA, 2018) – it could potentially help us to improve diagnosis, uncover patterns and predictions in psychological behaviours, and deliver scalable treatments and interventions.