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Tag: behavioral health

AI Can Help to Flag Students Struggling with Mental Health

Article Excerpt: Even pre-pandemic, mental health issues were plaguing higher education. Perhaps it’s unsurprising that only 12% of students think their university handles the issue of mental health well. With the situation still ongoing, easier, timely access to effective mental health services has never been more important. Now, with the assistance of artificial intelligence and data intelligence, this is possible. Location services, powered by network automation, can offer important student data and insights to pre-emptively flag when an individual might be experiencing mental distress. With the help of AI-driven technology, universities can quickly identify withdrawn behaviour – often a tell-tale sign of mental unwellness. If a student is spending most of their time confined to their accommodation, or continuously missing lessons, location services will pick it up. By leveraging this data, universities can then offer early intervention, whether from counsellors or mental health support teams.

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Article Source: University World News


‘They Won’t Rip Telehealth Away’: Digital Behavioral Health Companies Prepare for Industry-Shaping DEA Decision

Article Excerpt: November is fast approaching, and with it comes the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) proposed rule on telehealth and controlled substance prescribing. After a six-month delay, the federal law enforcement and regulatory body will release regulations that will shape the future of telehealth within behavioral health in the post-COVID era. It also has the potential to redirect the evolution of telehealth in the behavioral health industry. Companies that exclusively or heavily focus on providing care via telehealth have had to prepare for the potential snapback to a regulatory environment where in-person exams were required before a telehealth provider could prescribe certain controlled substances.

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Article Source: Behavioral Health Business


Symposium to Spotlight Digital Mental Health Technology

Article Excerpt: Experts in the field of digital mental health will gather at Dartmouth on Sept. 19 to discuss opportunities and challenges in developing innovative digital tools that can transform mental health care. President Sian Leah Beilock will deliver opening remarks to kick off the Digital Mental Health & AI Symposium organized by the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at the Hanover Inn. “The Center for Technology and Behavioral Health is a leader in the science of digital health as applied to health behavior,” says CTBH Director Lisa Marsch. “We are excited to host this event with the Dartmouth community to highlight the opportunities for using digital health tools to promote mental health anytime and anywhere.”

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Article Source: Dartmouth News


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.


Close The Behavioral Health EMR Gap

Article Excerpt: There is increasing consensus that we must act to improve the nation’s behavioral health outcomes and capabilities. And the critical first step to fulfilling this goal is modernizing our behavioral health information technology infrastructure.

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Article Source: Health Affairs


Findings From the Step Up, Test Up Study of an Electronic Screening and Brief Intervention for Alcohol Misuse in Adolescents and Young Adults Presenting for HIV Testing: Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial

Karnik N, Kuhns L, Hotton A, Del Vecchio N, McNulty M, Schneider J, Donenberg G, Keglovitz Baker K, Diskin R, Muldoon A, Rivera J, Summersett Williams F, Garofalo R. Findings From the Step Up, Test Up Study of an Electronic Screening and Brief Intervention for Alcohol Misuse in Adolescents and Young Adults Presenting for HIV Testing: Randomized Controlled Efficacy Trial. JMIR Ment Health 2023;10:e43653. DOI: 10.2196/43653

This study tested the efficacy of a fully automated electronic screening and brief intervention, Step Up, Test Up, to reduce alcohol misuse among adolescents and young adults in community-based HIV testing environments in Chicago. Effects on sexual risk and uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention were also examined. Three hundred twenty-nine participants aged 16-25 years who identified as a man or transgender woman who has sex with men and reported moderate to high alcohol use were randomly assigned to a brief single-visit intervention or attention control condition (modules of similar length on promotion of diet and nutrition). The Step Up, Test Up intervention used a motivational interviewing approach to deliver lessons on 11 topics focused on alcohol use. Data were collected at 1, 3, 6, and 12-months post intervention. There were no significant group differences in alcohol use outcomes over time. There was a significant but small reduction in condomless anal sex under the influence of alcohol and drugs at 12 months compared to 3 months among participants in the intervention group relative to the control group (incidence rate ratio=0.15, 95% CI 0.05-0.44). There were no significant group differences in sexual risk and PrEP engagement. The relative lack of effect of the intervention on alcohol misuse and associated risks may reflect a need for cultural tailoring and more dynamic and engaging components in the intervention.


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