Can digital well being instruments assist handle psychological healthcare and scale back dependency on medication?


The behavioral health segment of digital health has grabbed a lot of attention, especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, digital health startups offering mental healthcare raised $5.1 billion, outstripping all other clinical indications by a whopping $3.3 billion and nearly double 2020’s funding total, according to a Rock Health report analyzing investment trends in 2021. The report noted that some of the factors driving this trend include the integration of mental health services into broader virtual care platforms and the rise of virtual options even for intensive behavioral health needs.

Mental health will be part of the conversation at the MedCity INVEST Digital Health conference in Dallas scheduled for September 28, in collaboration with Health Wildcatters. The panel, “Can mental illness be addressed with technology and without drugs?” will explore how digital health tools are addressing these needs. Jennifer Gentile, senior vice president of clinical innovation, ieso, attending psychologist, division of endocrinology, Boston Children’s Hospital, is just one of the panelists for this session.

Asked what type of digital health solutions can help to manage mental health and reduce dependency on drugs, Gentile responded via email:

“Digital solutions that offer 24-hour support allow the individual to receive care when it is convenient and appropriate for them. Solutions that are based on scientific evidence, engaging, and personalized to the individual with specific treatment plans tailored to their goals are those that are poised for success. Offering the individual choice of how and when they participate in care increases the likelihood that the individual will be able to better manage their addiction.

“Options such as peer support, individual therapy, and remote medication-assisted therapy are relatively more effective than those that offer one option.  Finally, those solutions that address social determinants of health factors in addition to mental health support can be more impactful because they take a whole person approach rather than just addressing challenges of addiction.”

Also taking part in the panel will be Faye Sahai, partner, Telosity Ventures, who will serve as moderator. She’ll be joined by Deepak Gopalakrishna, CEO, Oxford VR.

Among others taking part in the conference are:

  • Hubert Zajicek, MD, CEO, co-founder and Partner, Health Wildcatters
  • Adam Dakin, partner, HealthTech, Dreamit HealthTech
  • Jason Considine, chief commercial officer, Experian Health
  • Derra Howard, founder and patient advocate, Saving Grace Epilepsy Foundation
  • Adrian Rodriguez, vice president of quality and safety, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, PBC
  • Joshua Fredell, head of PBM & specialty product innovation, CVS Caremark
  • Cyril Philip, vice president of digital ventures, Bon Secours Mercy Health
  • Mona Flores, MD, global head of medical AI, NVIDIA

To view the conference agenda, click here.

Photo: metamorworks, Getty Images



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