How will AI shape the future of mental healthcare?

Technology has a huge impact on how we go about our daily lives, from how we communicate with people to how we shop to how we gain information, and so much more. It’s no surprise, then, that technology has had and continues to have a great impact on the mental healthcare field.

New inventions – especially those using artificial intelligence (AI) – have made it easier to identify mental health issues, understand what’s going on, and explore treatment options. Huge progress has been made, and yet there’s much more to come. Here’s a look at how AI will shape the future of mental healthcare.

AI will help us better understand mental health issues 

AI can be used to identify risk factors associated with different mental illnesses and even predict the onset of mental health conditions. As providers and organizations in the mental healthcare space learn more about the correlation between various risk factors and mental health conditions, AI will help people better understand what causes different mental health conditions, what’s going on when someone has a mental illness, and the effectiveness of different treatment options on different mental health conditions. 

For example, Lumiata uses AI and machine learning to predict the onset of depression, dementia, and bipolar disorder within the next 12 months, based on numerous risk factors. The knowledge that different factors can lead to or are associated with different mental health conditions comes from our vast dataset, featuring data drawn from 130 million patient records, 50 million published articles, 35,000 physician curation hours, healthcare data, medical knowledge, and clinical IP.

As our dataset grows, our AI technology will improve its understanding of the correlation between risk factors and mental health conditions and will better identify high-risk patients and predict disease onset. Using AI-generated actionable insights, mental healthcare providers can offer more effective treatment options and provide care promptly to achieve better outcomes for their patients. 

AI will lead to more resources for people to get mental healthcare

As more people see the value in AI, they’ll find innovative uses for the technology and create new resources for professionals in the mental healthcare field and the people seeking mental healthcare. While AI once seemed like something straight out of science fiction, it’s now very much part of our world, even in the mental healthcare space.

People struggling with their mental health can communicate with chatbots, which analyze the user’s messages to “understand” the person’s mental state and provide support and guidance. Chatbots make care accessible regardless of the time of day or how far a person lives from in-person mental healthcare services. 

Additionally, AI can be used to detect signs of depression, anxiety, stress, and more by analyzing spoken language and facial expressions. AI can also be used to analyze biomarkers to detect signs of mental health issues, such as analyzing PET, MRI, and CSF to detect Alzheimer’s disease.

AI is already being used in these ways in new mental healthcare resources; as the technology continues to improve, it could be extremely valuable for new inventions built to help people who are seeking or providing mental healthcare. Instead of in-person appointments being the only way to receive mental healthcare, these new resources will provide people with numerous ways to get the care they need. 

These AI tools will also support providers in their efforts. For example, mental health professionals can use AI-powered tools to analyze a patient’s speech during the intake meeting. During this meeting, the provider will be busy getting to know their patient, discussing what to expect, and going over paperwork. AI technology can help identify signs of mental health concerns that the care provider may not have noticed at the time. 

AI will help make mental healthcare more accessible 

Mental healthcare is important, but it isn’t always easily accessible. An increase in AI-powered tools will make mental healthcare more accessible, regardless of where a person lives, their financial status, or the day or time. While a mental healthcare provider may only be available for face-to-face appointments at specific times on specific days, digital AI healthcare tools can be made available 24/7. These tools can also be offered for free or significantly less than the cost of an in-person appointment.

More resources mean there are more ways for people to access care, allowing them to choose the method that’s most convenient and comfortable for them, especially in the early stages of care. Without the barriers of location, time, and cost that traditional mental healthcare options have, AI-powered resources allow people to access care when and where they need it. 

AI will help break the stigma surrounding mental health 

While people are speaking more openly about their experiences with mental health issues and receiving care, there’s still a long way to go to fully break down the stigma surrounding mental health. As AI enables mental health resources to become more readily available, we may see more people using these resources and getting the care they need, making mental healthcare more commonplace. As more people either receive mental health care or know someone who is receiving care, seeking help for mental health concerns will seem “normal,” helping to end the stigma.

When seeking and receiving mental health care becomes a more widely accepted activity and people feel comfortable talking openly about their mental health struggles and treatments, more people may feel encouraged to get the help they need. 

Democratizing AI in healthcare 

At Lumiata, our vision is to democratize AI in healthcare to reduce costs and improve the quality of care. We’ve seen firsthand how AI can generate actionable insights that healthcare providers can use to provide the right care at the right time and achieve better outcomes for their patients.

From identifying risk factors in patients to predicting disease onset and more, our AI products can help your team stay informed and be more effective. To see what Lumiata can do for your organization, contact us to request a demo.