Scroll to top
Summarizing current news and empirical literature related to digital health technologies
Eye on Innovation

Summarizing current news and empirical literature related to digital health technologies

The field of behavioral health and technology moves at a rapid pace. CTBH follows news and empirical publications and compiles references to and synopses of pieces describing cutting edge applications of technology in behavioral health.
Eye on Innovation

Digital Therapeutics Provide Benefits but Require Further Research

Article Excerpt: A Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Advisory report indicated that while digital therapeutics (DTx) can address care barriers, such as limited care access and high costs, development efforts are on the rise, prompting further considerations… Research indicates that DTx are projected to grow in the coming years. A part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) funds a Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) that guides the creation and application of digital health resources for various conditions, often providing grants.

Full Article:

Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


A Mobile App to Promote Alcohol and Drug SBIRT Skill Translation Among Multi-Disciplinary Health Care Trainees: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Curtis AC, Satre DD, Sarovar V, Wamsley M, Ly K & Satterfield J. (2022). A mobile app to promote alcohol and drug SBIRT skill translation among multi-disciplinary health care trainees: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Substance Abuse, 43(1), 13–22.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an alcohol and drug screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment (SBIRT) mobile app to support healthcare trainees working in various clinical settings. A randomized controlled trial of a new mobile app was conducted among 131 participants who were health profession trainees, had completed SBIRT training in the past year, and had a personal mobile device. The app had three main functions: 1) review of SBIRT skills and substance use disorders, 2) application of SBIRT (including screeners, intervention strategies and tools), and 3) data collection on SBIRT delivery via brief surveys. Participants were randomized to either the SBIRT app or the control condition (no access to the app). Participants completed weekly self-report assessments on SBIRT delivery over the 10-week study duration. Seventy-eight percent of participants assigned to the SBIRT app downloaded it and logged in. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups in the percentage of patients screened, brief interventions delivered, or referrals made to treatment. Additionally, there were no differences between the two arms at baseline nor at the end of the study for attitudes, beliefs, confidence in ability to deliver SBIRT, or behavioral intent to deliver SBIRT. In the group that received the SBIRT app, the average system usability score was 62.00 (SD=12.01), which is considered below average. Participants spent an average of 8.81 minutes in the app. Based on these findings, despite good uptake of the SBIRT app, adherence was low. Authors noted that the effect of the classroom training prior to app access is unknown; it is possible that this training reduced the need for the SBIRT app, leading to non-significant differences between the two arms. The potential for use of digital apps to support the translation of best practices from classroom to clinic is promising; however, additional research is needed to improve engagement and adherence.


FDA Clears Prescription Digital Behavioral Therapeutic for Type 2 Diabetes

Article Excerpt: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared AspyreRx™, a prescription digital behavioral therapeutic device for adults with type 2 diabetes.The device is intended to provide cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), as an adjunct to standard of care, to patients aged 18 years and older with type 2 diabetes under the care of a health care provider. Prescribed in 90-day increments, the digital therapeutic delivers CBT through a mobile application in a weekly, step-by-step process to help patients improve glycemic control.

Full Article:

Article Source: Psychiatry Advisor


The Role of Digital Health In Treating OUD

Article Excerpt: In a study recently published in the JAMA Network, researchers sought to investigate the use of patient-facing digital health technologies for OUD by organizations in the United States with ACO contracts. The search began as it was unclear whether these technologies serve as substitute or complements to traditional SUD treatment resources in health care organizations. According to researchers and authors of the study, medication and behavioral treatment for OUD is scarce. Many barriers make access to OUD treatment challenging, including transportation and limited numbers of mental health and SUD clinicians. Digital health technologies are suggested to have the potential to alleviate barriers and expand access to treatment for OUD patients.

Full Article:

Article Source: Managed Healthcare Executive


Facilitators of and Barriers to Integrating Digital Mental Health Into County Mental Health Services: Qualitative Interview Analyses

Zhao X, Stadnick N, Ceballos-Corro E, Castro Jr J, Mallard-Swanson K, Palomares K, Eikey E, Schneider M, Zheng K, Mukamel D, Schueller S, Sorkin D. Facilitators of and Barriers to Integrating Digital Mental Health Into County Mental Health Services: Qualitative Interview Analyses. JMIR Form Res 2023;7:e45718. DOI: 10.2196/45718

This article identified barriers, facilitators, and best practices for implementing digital mental health interventions (DMHIs) according to the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework. This qualitative interview study is part of a larger state-funded project in which six county behavioral health departments in California explored the use of DMHIs as part of mental health services. Interviews were conducted with clinical staff, peer support specialists and leadership. The interview was structured using the EPIS domains of relevant inner context (i.e., individual and organizational characteristics), outer context (i.e., patient characteristics, policy, fiscal mandates), innovation factors (i.e., fit of the innovation), and bridging factors (i.e., community-academic partnerships). Sixty-nine interviews were included for analysis. Three main themes were identified: readiness of individuals, readiness of innovations, and readiness of organizations and systems. Readiness of individuals included patients’ access to technology and digital literacy to participate in DMHIs. Innovation-level readiness pertained to accessibility, clinical usefulness, safety and fit of DMHIs. On the organization and system level, providers and leaders held positive views about DMHIs. Based on these findings, successful implementation of DHMIs requires readiness at the individual, innovation, and organizational levels. The authors recommend equitable device distribution and digital literacy training at the individual level. Adapting DMHIs to fit clients’ needs, as well as clinical workflow, is also recommended. To improve at the organization level, providers and local behavioral health departments should be supported with appropriate technology and training.

This AI Chatbot Has Helped Doctors Treat 3 Million People–And May Be Coming To A Hospital Near You

Article Excerpt: The problem with turning to the internet for medical advice is that you can come away thinking that you either have a headache or a brain tumor – but the reality is you probably just have a headache. With K Health, Allon Bloch is creating an antidote to “Dr. Google” that ingests your symptoms and medical history via an AI-powered chatbot, sifts through the data of millions of patients and suggests a medical condition based on how you compare to other people like you. “We’re trying to mimic the best doctor in the world,” says Bloch, 53, cofounder and CEO of the seven-year-old New York-based startup.

Full Article:

Article Source: Forbes


Does Artificial Intelligence Belong in Therapy?

Article Excerpt: For many, the nearest therapist these days isn’t someone sitting across from them in a room but a friendly face on the other side of a Zoom, or even a chat thread on a smartphone. In a quantum leap beyond those types of virtual encounters, increasingly, the entity offering mental health advice may not even be a human. Chat-based mental health services boomed during the pandemic, several of them using generative artificial intelligence chatbots to converse about mental health and offer virtual companionship. If that technology starts to make its way into professionally licensed mental health areas, Rep. Josh Cutler has filed legislation to make sure the usage is regulated and disclosed. And he had an unusual collaborator in that mission – his bill was co-written by the generative app ChatGPT.

Full Article:

Article Source: CommonWealth


Making Digital Interventions Accessible and Affordable

Article Excerpt: As the nation grapples with soaring demand for mental health services amid a provider shortage, more psychologists are considering the benefits of digital therapeutics—evidence-based interventions available to patients on their mobile devices. These tools have the potential to help people struggling with substance use disorders, anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. But there is a major hurdle blocking widespread access: Using digital therapeutics in practice is not usually covered by health insurance. The costs for the software alone can range from approximately $300 to $1,500 annually—fees that are out of reach for many patients.

Full Article:

Article Source: American Psychological Association


Telehealth Proves Successful for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Article Excerpt: Virtual care provider Ophelia found 56% of its OUD patients remained in treatment for six months and 48% stayed for one year, with retention rates significantly higher than traditional in-person care…”These study findings help take another step forward in proving what we already know: telehealth-based medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder is highly effective in reducing overdoses and preventing relapse,” (Chief medical officer at Ophelia) said.

Full Article:

Article Source: Healthcare IT News