Mental illnesses may be more common than you realize, with approximately one in five adults in the United States living with a mental illness.[i]
However, in 2019, only 44.8% of those adults living with a mental illness received mental health services in the past year.[ii]
This means millions of people did not receive the mental health care they needed. Numerous factors may affect whether or not a person receives mental health care, including access to care, the cost of care, the stigma surrounding mental health issues, and more.
How can mental health organizations provide better care for more people?
Using artificial intelligence (AI) can help mental health organizations more easily and accurately identify mental health issues, intervene sooner, provide better care, reduce human error, and make care more accessible. Here’s how it works.
AI can help mental health organizations intervene sooner
Fifty percent of mental disorders begin by age 14 and are typically preceded by non-specific psychosocial disturbances.[iii] These disturbances may evolve into any major mental disorder[iv], making early intervention an important step in achieving and maintaining good mental health. By intervening early, mental health care providers can help prevent mental health issues from getting worse and possibly even prevent the onset of mental health problems.
The right AI tools can help mental health care organizations and providers identify mental health risk factors and predict the onset of mental health issues, giving health care providers the opportunity to intervene sooner and address the person’s specific concerns. One such AI tool is Lumiata’s Spectrum AI Model Catalog, which allows users to run numerous financial and clinical data models, including a disease onset model. This model can predict the onset of acute and chronic diseases within the next 12 months, including bipolar disorder, dementia, depression, alcohol dependence syndrome, tobacco dependence syndrome, and more.
The sooner mental health care providers are aware of a patient’s risk for disease onset, the sooner they can address the patient’s specific risk factors. This gives health care providers more time to work towards preventing disease onset as well as treating mental health issues before they get worse. It also gives them time to talk to the patient and discuss their mental health, teach any necessary coping skills, and offer helpful resources.
In addition to allowing timely care, AI helps mental health organizations provide more specialized care. When providers can see specific warning signs and can predict the onset of specific mental illnesses, they can provide care that directly addresses those specific risk factors and illnesses, or refer patients to other providers who can provide the necessary care.
AI can help make mental health care more accessible
Accessing mental health care isn’t always easy. Some people live far away from healthcare facilities, and driving long distances to appointments isn’t always feasible. Others find the cost of care to be a barrier. People may also feel hesitant to seek mental health care due to a stigma surrounding mental health issues and asking for help. Fortunately, AI can help make mental health care more accessible.
AI tools can help reduce a mental health care provider’s workload while increasing the number of people an organization is able to provide care for. Consider chatbots, for example. These virtual, AI-powered resources can serve as the first step for people who want to talk about how they’re feeling but can’t or won’t meet with a human first. People can “talk” via messaging with a chatbot – which uses AI and machine learning to “understand” how a person is feeling and respond accordingly – and then reach out to a real person if they feel the chatbot is not helpful enough. At the same time, offering chatbots as a service frees up professionals’ time and allows them to focus on more serious and urgent cases. Chatbots can also be made available 24/7 and free to use, making mental health care accessible regardless of the day, time, or budget.
AI can also help free up health care providers’ time by predicting disease onset. Algorithms can analyze large amounts of data and do so more quickly than a human can. By allowing AI solutions like Lumiata to make predictions and generate actionable insights for them, care providers can spend more time with patients.
Additionally, by making mental health care more accessible, AI can help make seeking help for mental health issues more commonplace and thus help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and seeking help.
AI can reduce human error in mental health care
To best care for patients, mental health care providers need correct diagnoses for their patients and clear insight into the patients’ risk factors. AI can be used to help identify risk factors and be used as a resource when diagnosing people. For example, there exists AI-powered technology that can recognize speech patterns and facial expressions.
This technology can be used when a mental health care provider is performing patient intake meetings; the tech can identify signs of mental health issues that care providers may not notice at the time, especially when providers are busy getting to know their new patients, discussing paperwork and procedures, and helping patients understand what to expect.
This technology can also be used to monitor the mental health of patients who are already receiving treatment. Such AI technology helps remove human bias and supports the provider by adding a “second pair of eyes” of sorts to the meeting.
AI can also detect patterns, analyze vast datasets, and “understand” which risk factors are associated with different mental illnesses, making it useful when predicting and diagnosing mental health issues. To generate high-quality, accurate predictions and insights, AI solutions must be “fed” high-quality and accurate data.
At Lumiata, we clean your data to remove incorrect, incomplete, duplicate, and improperly formatted data. We also supplement it with our own data derived from healthcare data, clinical IP, and medical knowledge. After these and other crucial steps, your data is ready for AI and machine learning and can be used to predict disease onset and to generate other valuable insights.
Democratize mental health care with Lumiata
Want to see how AI can change the way your mental health organization cares for patients? Click here to request a demo of Lumiata.