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Computer-Aided Assessment Tools in Mental Health

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Computer-Aided Assessment Tools in Mental Health

            Contemporary psychology is glancing at an effective science method to understand the human mind in health and disease and with advanced technology, the field can fully utilize computerized-based assessment tools. Human emotions play a vital role in mental illness. Psychological assessments will contribute crucial information in the understanding and evaluating mental health through data collection during assessment and screening, integration of information, and interpretation. Cognitive assessment records can be obtained through behavioral observation, interviews, neuropsychological testing, and medical records. The clinical interview is the backbone of psychological and neuropsychological evaluation. Computer-based tools have made the process easy and fast (Caspar et al., 2016). This essay reviews the use of technology in mental health assessment, shading light on its effectiveness and limitations. The computerized-based assessment tools include mobile-based technology, video-conferencing technology, and web-based technology, which is combined with computerized physiological sensing technology to analyze mental health conditions during the assessment.

Computer-Based Assessment Tools in Mental Health

Mobile-Based Computerized Technology

            Diagnosis in psychiatry is based on patient reports, mobile technology is versatile, and its remarkable capabilities have offered a flexible platform to capture retrospective data reports in the current time. By utilizing the self-administered mental health surveys from mobile applications connected to mental health clinics, the technology can provide diagnostic data on the symptoms, behavioral patterns associated with mental diseases, and physiological parameters (Roberts et al.,2018). Mobile-based technology is an easy and flexible technique that is convenient and fast.

Video-Conferencing Based Computerized Technology

             Diagnosis in psychiatry is based on clinical reviews, which can be found on neuropsychiatric interviews and observation. The video conferencing technology has been reliable compared to in-person clinical reviews as it can offer recorded video that can be used for further analysis. The technology has been accepted in various clinical studies since it is more reliable. The technology involves conducting clinical reviews remotely by utilizing video conferencing (Caspar et al., 2016; Martha & Juan, 2019). Tools, such as the recent zoom technology, can be used to conduct clinical reviews remotely while using real-time video feeds for both the clinician and patient.

Web-Based Computerized Technology

            Computerized assessments have seen drastic development in the psychiatric examination, which indicates that the technology is very effective in screening and assessing mental health patients. The evaluation is done on three fronts: neuropsychological, personality, and computerized adaptive testing (CAT) assessment. The web-based computerized technology utilizes the web-transmitted interview assessments through the internet, based on the General Health Questionnaires and Symptoms Check List psychometric evaluations. (Caspar et al., 2016; Martha & Juan, 2019). The technology screens for mental disorders, such as major depression, anxiety, panic disorders, substance abuse disorders, and PTSD (Caspar et al., 2016; Martha & Juan, 2019).

Computerized Physiological Sensing

            Diagnosis of mental health problems can utilize self-reported symptoms and observation of behavioral changes. The process of diagnosis should first understand the extent of a mental illness, screening also uses computerized physiological sensors that measure the neuro-psychophysiological parameters. State-of-the-art computerized sensors include electromyography (EMG) and electrocardiography (ECG) to measure peripheral physiology. The assessment also utilizes the electrodermal activity (EDA) sensor that measures gesture, speech, respiration, and oculomotor reactions. Technology has proven versatile in mental health by combining physiology and technology to carry out diagnosis. Using the computerized Biopac MP150 system, the machine can track changes in the eyes such as blinking, gazing, and pupil dilation. It also collects speech for gesture sensing and measures brain activity by utilizing functional near-infrared spectroscopy. (Ćosić et al.,2020). The data obtained from computerized physiological sensing are compared with relevant predictors on parameters for either negative or positive diagnosis.  

Strengths and Limitations of Computerized Tools

            Mobile-based computerized technology used in psychiatric diagnosis has shown strong versatility to be engaged by clinical reviews and assessment. The technology presents a new frontier to observe and evaluate symptom patterns associated with mental illness on a real-time basis with the continuous collection of data. The utilization of this technology creates a potential for understanding the link between psychiatry’s biological and behavioral aspects (Roberts et al.,2018). Video conferencing and web-based computerized technology, when combined with computerized physiological sensors, are effective methods that have to utilize the fast and reliable aspect of technology to diagnose mental illness and offer treatment at early stages

            The downside to computerized technology is the change that it will bring. Utilizing the remote assessment tools means that the number of patients visiting the health facilities will reduce the revenue. The expertise needed to run web-based analysis and evaluation needs highly trained professionals to minimize misinterpretation cases leading to misdiagnosis of mental health diseases. (Caspar et al., 2016; Ćosić et al., 2020; Martha & Juan, 2019; Roberts et al.,2018). The new technology is also faced with network coverage problems in areas where video conferencing cannot be done hence making clinical review observations hard

Conclusion

            The evidence provided shows that technology plays a vital role in mental health. Utilizing computerized-based tools, assessment, evaluation, and analysis of screening data for mental health diagnosis can be made easy and timely. Computerized technology has offered fast and reliable data collection and can also create a chance for remote patients to access mental health services. Even though it has some drawbacks, more resources should be used to ensure that professional health mental workers can utilize this technology and make accurate interpretations and diagnoses. The new technology will eventually revolutionize mental health in screening, assessment, interpretation, and diagnosis through more research and studies.

References

Caspar, F., Berger, T., & Frei, L. (2016). Using technology to enhance decision-making. In J. J. Magnavita (Ed.), Clinical decision making in mental health practice (pp. 147–174). American Psychological Association. http://doi.org/10.1037/ 14711-006  

Ćosić, K., Popović, S., Šarlija, M., Kesedžić, I., & Jovanovic, T. (2020). Artificial intelligence in prediction of mental health disorders induced by the COVID-19 pandemic among health care workers. Croatian Medical Journal61(3), 279–288. https://doi.org/10.3325/cmj.2020.61.279

Martha Escobar Lux & Juan Manuel Escobar. (2019). Where technology meets psychology: improving global mental health. InterOpen Limited, London, 1, 1-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.5772/intechopen.88174

Roberts, L., Chan, S. & Torous, J. (2018) New tests, new tools: mobile and connected technologies in advancing psychiatric diagnosis. 120176 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-017-0006-0

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