10/28: Technology and the future of mental health treatment – Talia Feinberg

This article discusses the sector of developing technology regarding mental health. This idea is very appealing on the surface because it gives people the opportunity to reach help in a time of crisis (or otherwise) at the click of a button. However, the article mentions that a lot of these new apps have the ability to track the user’s behavior patterns outside of the app, leading to a big issue with privacy. The app’s claim they do this in order to detect changes in the user’s behavior in order to alert them that there is a crisis before the user even tells the app that. The article then goes on to talk about the pros and cons of this technology – and there are certainly notable ones on both sides. For example, two significant pros were lower cost and 24 hour service. These two pros stood out to me because it provides serious benefits over that of in person care, and may lead people who would not otherwise seek out help, to do so. However, a significant con was privacy – this led me to ask how much are we willing to give up about ourselves to potentially better ourselves?

While I find the possibilities of these technologies very helpful and even potentially life-saving, there are some serious cons that need to be worked out. The article discussed different types of apps within the mental health sector, and I find some types of these apps more useful than others. For example, apps that help remind the users to take their medicines, write down symptoms, and report mood levels I think can be really helpful in conjunction with in person care and seem to not pose too serious privacy risks. I assume this technology will continue to develop and I wonder if it will eventually overtake in person mental health care.

2 thoughts on “10/28: Technology and the future of mental health treatment – Talia Feinberg

  1. I think the question of how much we are willing to give up for privacy is a really good one. It was mentioned yesterday in class that a study showed people are only willing to give up a max of $10 for their privacy, which is interesting considering how worked up people are about it. So, I think if there were a financial model that allowed companies to make a profit from customers through outlets that can replace personal data collection, then that would be one of the best possible advances towards true data privacy.

  2. I too, am interested in discussing the privacy issue on this type fo technology. I question whether these new apps need to track users’ behavior outside of the app. I feel is though this is an ineffective way to help individuals struggling with mental health. There must be a better way to aid these individuals apart from collecting data from their devices while they are not actively seeking out help from the app.

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