From Apps to Systems in Mental Health Assessment and Management – Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh

Posted on February 17, 2019

Dr. Arshya Vahabzadeh is a Harvard-trained physician-technologist specializing in paediatric and adult psychiatry, and family medicine. As an expert on the use of new technologies for mental health disorders, Dr. Vahabzadeh has over 20 national and international awards and recognized as a 40 under 40 healthcare innovator. He believes that a convergence of clinical neuroscience, data science, and exponential technologies, can result in transformational change for global mental health.

Author Quotes :

One of the areas that we’ve really been thinking about is the mental state exam. What͛s interesting about the mental state exam is that it is semi-structured but can vary a lot between people. People use different words for different situations.

The question is: Can we go from this subjective semi-structured approach to a much more quantitative approach that is consistent between different providers, between different clinics and one that you don͛t necessarily have to be in front of the patient, one that the patient can almost remotely do and send you a ping if there is a problem.

Summary :

Dr. Vahabzadeh introduces the subject area of apps within mental health treatment.

He begins with a discussion of multinodal approaches to evaluating a patient to produce a baseline mental state assessment.

Discussing the future of the quantitative mental state examination, he explains how there are technologies today that can assess the different components of what a practitioner looks for in a patient, such as behavior and affect.

Computerised speech enhancers show considerable accuracy in predicting who is at highest risk of developing schizophrenia through speech analysis and computer models. Read more about digital speech analysis here.

He highlights what it means to be a successful therapist and how data can help to find the core issue. Presenting the findings of a recent study, he explains the importance of creativity and knowing how to change course when a conversation is not going well.

He highlights what it means to be a successful therapist and how data can help to find the core issue. Presenting the findings of a recent study, he explains the importance of creativity and knowing how to change course when a conversation is not going well.

Dr. Vahabzadeh ends this short video with a demonstration of how a natural language processing approach is being used to predict suicide from general hospital discharge notes, and how more positive language can actually result in a decreased chance of suicide in patients. Read more about digital approaches in suicide prevention.

Take Home Messages :

1) Scientists are trying to make apps more engaging and more usable.
2) Successful therapists are creative in their approach.
3) Technology is being developed that can assist with patient assessment

Quiz :

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