Could Health Care Technology Help Solve the Children’s Mental Health Crisis?

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In the UK alone, there have been significantly increasing reports of children being admitted to hospital due to mental health problems.

Between the years of 2015 and 2016, there has been a marked increase by 42% of young people admitted to hospital due to anxiety. Technology has been burdened with the cause of this increase in anxiety sufferers, but on the other hand, some industry professionals are actually proclaiming technology to be a cure.

Wherever there are social media users, there will be ill-wishers and cyber bullies shortly behind. Applications that focus on image, lifestyle and appearance can quickly become toxic places to spend your time on.

So by ditching these types of applications for mindfulness and wellbeing apps, there can be a new platform to heal and to build yourself upon. This could be the way forward for both patients and carers, as a way to repair from toxic environments, and can help to teach people to view the world in a more positive light.

Assists with child self management:

For individuals who have addressed that they suffer from an issue, healthcare technology can offer the perfect solution to non-intrusive way of monitoring their condition. As a sufferer, it can often be difficult to acclimatise probing encounters with healthcare professionals and psychiatrists.

Technology offers an impersonal solution to this problem. These devices can offer a way for the patient to monitor their mental health, and seek new ways to improve it. Taking your condition into your own hands can be a great way to gain confidence, and to feel that you are in control of your condition.

Devices such as apps and fitness trackers can also create more of an interesting and almost competitive way of dealing with a condition. Health trackers promote a healthier lifestyle, and exercise can help to make you feel good. This is due to the release of endorphins from your brain, which happens when you partake in physical activity.

Many of these fitness trackers are able to monitor sleeping patterns, which can give an indication of how peaceful or restless your sleep pattern has been. Sleep pattern analysis is a crucial part of assessing a mental health condition, so if used in the correct manner, these devices could really have a positive impact on an individual.

Can gather research data:

Healthcare providers across the globe are plagued with the task of collecting important data from mental health sufferers. This information is often difficult to accurately attain, which is directly resulting in problems in tackling the mental health crisis. Data is invaluable when it comes to devising any healthcare contingency, or asserting a decision on how the problems should be handled.

Apps that focus on self-management for patients who suffer from a mental health condition, can be extremely useful, as they can help to identify any warning signs that arise. Some experts believe that Facebook activity can actually be used as an indication of a user’s mental health disposition. If we continues adopt these aspects into everyday social media use, and also incorporate more apps designed to tackle self-management into our daily lives, then this could help to gather data. This data collection could further shine a light on the ongoing issue that is mental illnesses. As a result, this could attract more funding to research mental health problems.

Management of any mental illnesses:

As a young person, it can be extremely difficult to manage a mental illness. There are a number of different pressures and expectations to follow as you are growing up and even acknowledging the problem can be a huge leap. Healthcare technology can really take away the added pressure of managing such an illness, by sending daily mindfulness messages, or updates to take medication, or as previously mentioned, keeping track of any symptoms.

This could be a revolutionary step for children who suffer from particularly unstable or turbulent backgrounds, and for those who take care of them. If you choose to foster a child, for example, then there is a constant pressure to ensure the child’s well being, so ensuring that they are keeping up with any treatment or offering them support is essential. Healthcare technology can be really useful in this sense, as it can give the parent or carer the reassurance that the child is maintaining their own recovery or illness, and that they are staying on track.

The benefits for healthcare technology to assist children who suffer from a mental illness are unarguably abundant. But, despite this, the solution is not without flaws. One of the most apparent issues that the industry faces in the lack of trial and peer review for the various technology and applications.

At current, anybody could create an app and market it as an assistance for mental health, and this is an issue that needs addressing with haste. This issue will begin to be recognised by government bodies and local authorities, as the importance of healthcare technology for children becomes more apparent. When this happens, there should be tighter regulation on the marketing of such applications and technology, which will help to identify the genuine and most helpful healthcare technology.

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