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Tag: behavioral health

Technology Can Reduce Providers’ Mental Healthcare Challenges

Article Excerpt: During HIMSS Global Conference’s Behavioral Health Forum, John MacKenzie, clinical program manager and behavioral health specialist at CommonSpirit Telehealth Network, discussed how to support caregivers and help patients suffering from behavioral health issues using virtual care… MacKenzie said organizations should aim to provide technological tools based on data and outcomes – such as telepsychiatry and remote behavioral health support, to improve behavioral health treatment options.

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Article Source: MobiHealth News


Leveraging Technology to Increase Behavioral Health Services Access for Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems: a Cross‑systems Collaboration Model

Tolou-Shams M, Holloway ED, Ordorica C, Yonek J, Folk JB, Dauria EF, Lehn K, Ezimora I, Wiley HMF. Leveraging Technology to Increase Behavioral Health Services Access for Youth in the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Systems: a Cross-systems Collaboration Model. J Behav Health Serv Res. 2022 Oct;49(4):422-435. doi: 10.1007/s11414-022-09808-1.

Researchers developed and reported initial outcomes of the Youth Justice and Family Well-Being Technology Collaborative (JTC) that aimed to leverage technology in public health and justice-related systems to increase access to behavioral health services. JTC was formed using a community-participatory research approach led by academic and judicial co-chairs and stakeholders from systems serving youth (i.e., behavioral health, legal, child welfare, school). The JTC was modeled after the Cascade framework to study gaps in implementation and uptake of healthcare services. The Telehealth Capacity Assessment Tool was used to identify capacity building needs and ways to use telehealth technology successfully. The JTC consisted of 20 stakeholders from the court, academic research, and justice-impacted youth. Eighteen meetings were held over 21 months. A mixed-methods approach was used to identify themes from the JTC meeting notes and telehealth capacity assessment data at 6, 12, and 18 months. Technology-related capacity was built over the first 12 months, but by 18 months, progress was stalled or marginally declined. Identified challenges included delivery of telehealth appropriately, overburdened IT departments, and inequities among youth and families to access and engage in technology interventions. However, the JTC is unique in collaborating with systems who do not ordinarily discuss workforce challenges or use technology to address challenges. Innovative models such as the JTC may be successful in bringing public health and justice systems together to identify gaps and develop strategies to increase behavioral health access.


Telehealth Is Here to Stay: How Technology Has Become a Staple for Physicians and Is Serving Unmet Health Care Needs

Article Excerpt: While the pandemic was the impetus for greater utilization of telehealth across the health care continuum, it’s safe to say that due to the convenience and benefits it offers to patients and providers, telehealth is here to stay. Before COVID-19, telehealth visits only accounted for 4% of total appointments, according to our recent research, which evaluated telehealth usage across 93.7 million patients in our athenaOne network. In the first half of 2022 when many patients returned to receiving in-person care, virtual visits still accounted for 8.9% of total appointments – a relatively minor decrease from the 12.1% we saw at the pandemic’s height. In addition to large-scale utilization, it is also evident that telehealth is being leveraged for a wide range of use cases. The network research, in addition to a survey we commissioned through Dynata of 2,000 U.S. patients, both found interesting patterns in usage for behavioral health, chronic care, as well as differences in adoption across race and gender. Despite differences in adoption and utilization, one thing is clear: Telehealth will remain a pivotal component of health care delivery now and in the years to come.

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Article Source: Medical Economics


A Peer-Led Online Community to Increase HIV Self-Testing Among African American and Latinx MSM: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Young SD, Cumberland WG, Singh P, Coates T. A Peer-Led Online Community to Increase HIV Self-Testing Among African American and Latinx MSM: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2022 May 1;90(1):20-26. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0000000000002919. PMID: 35044989; PMCID: PMC8986620.

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a peer-led online community for increasing HIV self-testing among Latinx and African American men who have sex with men (MSM). Nine hundred MSM living in Los Angeles were recruited from online advertisements, community centers and referrals. Eligible participants were HIV negative and/or serostatus unknown. Seventy-nine peer leaders were also recruited from local community organizations and attended training sessions on HIV epidemiology, building an online community, and promoting discussion on health and stigmatizing topics. Participants randomly assigned to the intervention joined a 12-week private online community group with peer leaders on Facebook and the control group joined a private Facebook group without peer leaders. Each group had about 30 participants and 5 peer leaders. During the intervention period, peer leaders communicated with participants weekly via sending messages, chats, and posts in their Facebook group to build trust and deliver HIV information. Every four weeks, all participants were offered a free HIV self-testing kit. All participants were administered self-report assessments at baseline and at 12-weeks at post-intervention. Results indicated the intervention group was significantly more likely to accept the offer for self-testing compared to the control group (OR=1.43, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.95). Compared to the control, intervention participants were significantly more likely to take a HIV self-test within the past 3 months (OR=1.47, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.13) and consume less alcohol in an average week (p=0.01) at post-intervention follow-up relative to baseline. The study observed a high retention rate (93%). Findings suggest that online communities are effective platforms for increasing HIV testing and reducing alcohol consumption among MSM of color. Results have implications for public health policy and scalability of technology-based interventions.


Telehealth Remains Key Modality for Behavioral Healthcare Delivery

Article Excerpt: After reaching new heights during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth use is leveling off in several clinical care areas. But there is one prominent exception: behavioral healthcare. Healthcare stakeholders are continuing to flock to telehealth for behavioral health services. An analysis of data from January 2020 to March 2022 shows that mental health conditions were the most common telehealth diagnoses at the national level. In addition, data shows that amid a drop in overall telehealth use since 2020, telemental healthcare has grown. In the first quarter of 2019, 32.4 percent of all telehealth visits were related to behavioral healthcare, according to a market research report. That figure jumped to 59.9 percent by Q1 2022. This data, along with the ongoing mental health crisis in America, signifies the importance of providing virtual care options for behavioral healthcare.

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


How Virtual Reality Is Solving Some Real Health Care Problems

Article Excerpt: Virtual reality is becoming a real-world health tool for everything from chronic pain and behavioral health problems on Earth to medical training for astronauts in space… Like the entire VR industry, health care’s version has made significant strides in recent years. Gone are the cheesy graphics and poor user experience of even just a few years ago, companies told Axios at the HLTH Conference in Las Vegas this week.
“When people say, ‘Yeah, it’s been many years since they’ve tried VR,’ it’s like, ‘No, you haven’t tried VR,'” said Luke Farkas, director of brand and marketing at BehaVR, a Kentucky-based company focused on behavioral health.

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Article Source: Axios


Three STEM Stories Still Unfolding

Article Excerpt: Honorees share their STEM journeys and their common belief that future generations of women are going to do great things. Grace Coughlin doesn’t report to the typical high schooler part-time job. The Hanover High senior has spent the past year working as a researcher with Dartmouth College… Coughlin’s responsibilities at Dartmouth are at the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health, where she has had the opportunity to work with a role model in Dr. Lisa Marsch, the center’s director. Her area of research is working to support specific innovations and technologies that will help in understanding and providing solutions in the mental health field.

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Article Source: Union Leader


How Telehealth Can Help Bridge Pediatric Mental Healthcare Gaps

Article Excerpt: The burgeoning mental health epidemic in America is widespread across age groups, but the youth have faced a particularly challenging time amid the COVID-19 pandemic. As the youth mental health crisis reaches new heights, providers are increasingly turning to telehealth to help expand access to behavioral healthcare. In December, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, issued an advisory calling for a coordinated response to combat the crisis. “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade,” said Murthy in a press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic further altered their experiences at home, school, and in the community, and the effect on their mental health has been devastating.”

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Article Source: mHealth Intelligence


What’s the Future of Virtual-First Care?

Article Excerpt: Virtual-first care is a telehealth trend that’s emerged in the past few years. Virtual-first care directs patients to a video visit, call, or other digital interaction with a clinician before or instead of an in-person visit. Payers, self-insured employers, and some providers use virtual-first care in primary and urgent care settings to more easily triage the patient’s care needs, determine the best care setting from in-person to virtual, and drive follow-up. There are similar applications for this use of technology in niche areas of telehealth like behavioral health and dermatology. For patients, this means they can more easily start their care journeys anytime and anywhere that works best for them. And healthcare organizations can build more efficient, personalized, and comprehensive care solutions that guide patients through their care journeys.

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Article Source: MedCityNews