The Future of Mental Health Technology

For a long time we’ve heard and have been exposed to many studies of how technology is hurting our mental wellbeing. With social media causing depression to robots destroying lower wage jobs, it’s hard for some people to see technology as a boon to our mental health.

However there is actually some technology that is being created and tested to improve our wellbeing. In fact a whole industry is blooming from this. From people creating machines to apps, the idea of this technology is to provide guidance for mental health concerns, decreasing isolation, and even have the chance to save people’s lives.

Here’s a peek at what the future of mental health technology looks like.

Mental Health Tech Now Having An Institutional Hub

The fact that mental health technologies are convenient, have low costs and anonymity features, there is a massive amount of promise behind this. At the same time there is also a level of uncertainty due to low regulations and metrics for users. There’s also the concern of data collection and protection as people have to divulge sensitive data to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the business behind the creation of this hub. NIMH talks more about the hub and mental health technology here.

A Simulation Of Conversations Around Mental Health

On a slightly smaller scale, we have a NYC-based company called Kognito, diving into a pioneer project. The health simulation company has undertaken a project where they are altering behaviours that can lead to real life conversations amongst the virtual people. Many of the simulations they are going through now revolve around mental health and wellbeing (such as suicide prevention. Recently they also launched a simulation focusing on college students and faculty pertaining to a conversation revolving around mental health at-risk.

Robots Combating Loneliness

There are many tools out there that help the elderly. Now there is even more. With many elderly experience depression, a lot of that depression stems from social isolation. This social isolation can be fixed in many ways. One such solution is having robots involved. First is ElliQ, an active aging companion invented by a company called Intuition Robotics. The robot is in beta at the moment with tests being run in the US.

Another company that is stepping in is actually an initiative funded by the AARP Foundation. The foundation started Connect2Affect initiative, an initiative to generally combat loneliness. Though they don’t have a particular hand in robotics, we can anticipate that they will help in various ways to combat loneliness.

Conclusion

Technology for a long time has been used for a variety of purposes. Today we associate technology with entertainment like television, video, radio and more. However now that we are getting our share of entertainment and self indulgences, technology is starting to spread in more useful and tangible areas of our lives. Many people are talking about it.

These are just a few examples of technology making significant differences in peoples lives. Things will only be getting better the more that we leverage technology to help others and to use it to find new solutions.