Influence of digital technology on mental health

2 min. reading
Healthcare of the future, Healthy life / 8 January, 2022
Influence of digital technology on mental health

Karla García Gil Journalist

The state of well-being in human beings consists of two fundamental factors; physical health and mental health, the latter being as important as the former as it is an integral part of our development as individuals.

In this sense, new technologies play an important role in taking care of our mental health, since through them it is possible to extend support to a larger sector of the population in terms of early detection and/or treatment of different ailments.

During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, due to social distancing, ailments such as depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, attention deficit and obsessive compulsive disorder have been exacerbated, so the adoption of technological measures and online tools has been particularly beneficial.

Health benefits of physical exercise and medical checks

Health benefits of physical exercise and medical checks

We know that taking part in a physical exercise on a regular basis provides multiple health benefits.

Technologies applied to mental health

Virtual reality systems have made it possible to carry out treatments for specific phobias, such as those related to heights, spiders or flying. For example, a patient with agoraphobia could be exposed to his or her fear within a simulated scenario, which, being immersive and realistic, but at the same time safe, can be very useful.

On the other hand, there are IoT devices (wearables) for mental health, which capture information on the interactions and behavior of the person, in order to quantify their response or evolution in the face of a specific condition.

As for cybertherapies, they make it possible to reach people who are reluctant to see a psychologist. In addition, they have the advantage of being more accessible in terms of cost and available at any time and place in the world. They can be given by robots that chat with the patient or by real people through videoconferencing.

There are also the classic motivational videos on platforms such as YouTube, which, although they are not personalized, make it possible to reach a large number of people free of charge and provide them with information on various topics. Some are taught by professional psychologists or life coaches who help people feel better and channel their emotions.

Support Apps

In a complementary way, there are applications for cell phones, useful in the fight against addictions and in the detection of the person’s state of mind. There are around 10,000 mental health apps available on the market and in the U.S. App Store alone it is possible to find more than 300 for anxiety. Among the most successful apps in this area are the following:

  • Spill

Application focused on the mental well-being of employees. It offers a data questionnaire hosted on Slack and online consultations for those seeking personalized help. The company has raised $3.5 million to date.

  • Wysa

It is a mood-tracking app, with chatbot included and powered by artificial intelligence, as well as a library of self-care exercises. It currently has 3 million members.

  • Terapify

Therapy platform aimed at the Spanish-speaking market that connects patients with the psychologist of their choice. The app uses various models, from cognitive-behavioral therapy to psychoanalysis.

The early-stage company secured $125,000 in funding from U.S. tech startup accelerator Y Combinator.


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