Lecture – Digital Health for Behavioral Health

Available with English captions.

Presented by Lisa A. Marsch, PhD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth – Visiting Scholar Series

Digital technology can help clinicians better assess, understand, and treat behavioral health disorders. Digital therapeutics are also a promising and vibrant area of scientific research and clinical practice.

According to Lisa Marsch, PhD, digital therapeutics are “kind of like a clinician in your pocket.” Digital therapeutics deliver treatments through mobile platforms. They offer 24/7 accessibility to help individuals manage a range of psychological conditions. They also enable clinicians and health care systems to learn more about their patients. This information can lead to more personalized, timely, and effective treatments.

Marsch reviews the state of the science of digital therapeutics as part of treatment for behavioral health disorders. She discusses the tremendous expansion of digital technologies in recent years.

Worldwide adoption of these technologies, she explains, helps more and more clinicians prescribe digital therapeutics for their patients. This, in turn, helps them prevent, treat, and manage mental illnesses. These technologies help patients manage substance use disorders, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and PTSD.

Lecture highlights include:

  • A detailed look at the state of the science of applying digital therapeutics to the treatment of behavioral health disorders
  • Real-world examples of how digital platforms help individuals manage conditions
  • A discussion of ways digital health tools can extend best practices in health care delivery
  • An examination of the ethical considerations involved in the development, deployment, and data collection associated with digital therapeutics
  • Identification of ways clinicians may apply digital health tools in their work

Marsch discusses opportunities to leverage digital health measurement to better personalize digital treatments. She also highlights how digital health approaches help providers better understand the factors underlying psychiatric conditions.

In the talk, Marsch looks at the technological challenges surrounding digital therapeutics. She also considers the ethical considerations that clinicians and developers face as they create and deploy new digital solutions for behavioral health.

Despite the challenges, Marsch asserts that there is now “a tremendous opportunity to harness the widespread availability and growing availability of these devices to really creatively think about how we can provide more personalized health care resources with this infrastructure.”