From mobile apps to telemedicine to virtual reality games, new ideas that incorporate technology are emerging daily, and clinicians will inevitably be asked about them. With the vast amount of available digital solutions, it can be challenging to stay informed. Psychiatry has primarily relied on clinical assessment and self-report for screening and diagnosis. Unfortunately, this can be a barrier to timely, scalable care as well as prevention and early intervention.
Digital solutions aim to address these challenges and help clinicians obtain and utilize quality, objective information through tools such digital phenotyping. It is the process of taking data collected by technology such as sensors and smartphones, and turning data into clinically relevant information. For example, a smartphone can collect information on how much patients are moving around or engaging with others; this information can be collected either actively by direct input from users or passively, by using functions such as the GPS or logs of outbound calls and messages. These data can be used to screen, diagnose, prevent, and treat disease, and researchers have begun to study the accuracy and potential of these tools.
For more on this topic, see Technological Ventures Offer New Hope for the Future of Psychiatry, on which this quiz is based.