Starting next week, Dr. Tom Insel will vacate his position as the head of the United States National Institute of Mental Health in order to go work for Google Life Sciences to study mental health conditions. The move was arranged by Google, as the company wants to play a role in fixing mental health conditions.
Meanwhile, other technology companies are also jumping on the mental health bandwagon, as Apple, IBM and Intel are all looking to get involved in ensuring the wellbeing of everyday people. Representatives from these companies believe that they can use computers in order to determine when something is likely to go wrong in the mind of an individual.
As for Dr. Insel, he wants to use advanced technology in order to raise new questions. One such topic is that of wearable technology that is used for monitoring health. He believes that such devices could be used to monitor mental health as well.
One way that he believes wearable devices could be used to monitor mental health is by tracking movements. Most people suffering from depression have changes in terms of vocal tone, speech patterns and physical movement. Wearable devices could identify such changes and inform a person that they are experiencing depression.
Many people believe that the rise of technology companies in the field of mental health is a good thing. The mental health industry as it stands now is weakening. Additionally, the stigma associated with mental health problems often prevents proper treatments from being applied.
By having technology companies getting involved, more people will likely be made aware of when they are suffering from a mental health ailment, leading to easier access to treatment.
It’s odd to say, but the physical health industry is doing a great job, while the mental health industry is performing poorly. As the death rates from cancer and heart diseases are continuing to decline, suicide rates are growing higher every year.
Clearly, it’s time that more action is taken in regard to mental health.
There is a double standard in the medical industry as whole. If someone with cancer goes untreated, it is considered to be a scandal. On the other hand, a person who commits suicide in a situation that could have been better handled through therapy often goes unnoticed.
By getting involved in the mental health industry, technology companies might be able to alleviate this issue. With their involvement, mental health treatment should be more affordable and easier to obtain than ever before.
Such a trend could save the lives of millions of people struggling with depression throughout the world. It’s a change that the health industry desperately needs.