Mental Health Clinicians Open to Mobile Technology

Mental health professionals want more and better software to enhance their practices, according to a recently released survey.

Mental health professionals want more and better software to enhance their practices, according to a recently released survey.

The survey, conducted by Sigma Research Group, probed mental health clinicians’ attitudes toward the use of mobile technology and software in general. The survey included 401 clinicians in multiple specialties and living across the United States.

Less than half of the respondents (42%) said they currently used specialized software in their practice. However, many respondents said the area is ripe for innovation.

For instance:

  • 73% said an app that collected data on patients between visits would be helpful in tracking client progress. Another 59% said such an app would help with treatment planning.
  • 66% said a mobile app generally would improve their ability to treat clients.
  • 52% said an app would help them assess and diagnose clients.
  • 68% said the profession in general would benefit from the greater use of data.

“Therapists traditionally don't know much about what's happening to and with their clients when they aren't in the therapist's office,” said Daniel Gilbert, MD, SelfEcho’s senior research director. “I think mobile technology applications have the potential to close this gap by using client-approved real time monitoring to communicate important information to therapists so they can improve their treatment.”

Respondents noted various areas where greater efficiency would benefit their practices. For instance, 55% said creating session treatment notes took more time than it should. Half of respondents said filing records and organization took more time than it should. Just less than half (44%) said insurance billing and reimbursements took too much time.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they believe a web-based organizational system would save them time and money. Sixty percent said they would like to keep all of their data regarding a patient in a single, online, access point.