A quiet epidemic currently impacts 1 in 10 children in the United States, not to mention over 43.8 million adults: mental illness. According to Mental Health America’s annual report, the state of mental health in America has only continued to decline since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 60% of youth suffering from major depression don’t have access to treatment and fewer than 1 in 3 of them receive consistent mental health care. Rates of substance abuse are rising in both adults and kids, with 4.08% of America’s youth reporting a substance use disorder.
These numbers are staggering and clearly indicate that the mental health crisis in America has become a public health emergency. With the healthcare system still struggling to meet the needs of an increasingly distressed population, other sectors are stepping in to help meet the needs of patients, while supporting and encouraging providers and payers to start reevaluating their policies.
With the tech industry predicted to have a CAGR of 10% over the next three years, companies that work with digital tech solutions are poised to make a crucial contribution to the issue of mental health care in the United States. Brillio is one such company, dedicated to developing innovative tech solutions for the future. Led by CEO Raj Mamodia, an entrepreneur and passionate advocate of mental health care, they work with businesses and companies to digitally transform their operations using the ‘4 superpowers of technology’: Cloud, Mobile, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and IoT.
As a Healthcare Leader at Brillio, Avantika Sharma is very familiar with the complex challenges surrounding this issue. Her experience with the global behavioral health market and tech has revealed to her several promising solutions for the early detection of potential markers of mental health disorders. According to Sharma, the increase in interest and funding to develop technologies like wearables and the metaverse could prove to be valuable components in addressing mental health illnesses, particularly for youth.
When it comes to mental health care, early detection can make a massive difference in the trajectory of a patient’s life. Targeting youth with safe, well-designed tech solutions and software could help detect mental health concerns early in life, allowing the patient a better quality of life for longer. Wearables, for example, are already popular among youth, they can detect and record health parameters all day long, and they are connected to the internet. Sharma proposes AI-based gamification to detect emotional and physical data points. Likewise, games or chat rooms developed in the metaverse could be designed to track indications of loneliness and ADHD or reveal important thought patterns.
“Technology could enable a lot of solutions,” she says. “It’s a bundle of solutions to predict and model human behavior. Coupled with intervention at the right time by parents and authorities, this could really be the future of mental health.”
Over the next six years, the global behavioral health market is expected to expand by 3.4% from $128.2 billion to $156.3 billion. The global market for mental health software is estimated to increase at a CAGR of 14.9% by 2026, from $2.5 billion to $4.5 billion. For the payers and providers, this means a swift increase in demand for home care, daycare, and telehealth services, while for consumers it should mean an influx of new means to manage and treat mental illness. Combined with the steady rise of the tech industry in general, it’s not hard to imagine these forces coming together to create real, impactful solutions.
For more information on the intersection between tech and mental health care, visit www.brillio.com.