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The Integration of Technology in Psychology

Meher Rastogi, 8th August, 2020


Technology is not only changing the way people are interacting with the world, but it is also changing the way to study human behaviour and the brain. It is not feasible to carry an MRI scanner but with the use of some of these mobile technologies to map the cognitive domains of the brain we are heading places.

Today, medical researchers are using Artificial Intelligence to develop technology that will detect a range of diseases, improve imaging, mind mapping, radiation treatments, DNA sequencing and more individualized health care. Recently, researchers developed an AI algorithm that may accelerate precision medicine for depression. So machine learning with pretreatment symptom scores and brain wave data to predict which depressive symptoms may improve with antidepressants.

AI is also helping educators better predict which young students might struggle with ADHD and other learning disabilities. Machine learning imbibed in various schools helps identify clusters of at-risk children that did not match previous diagnoses or who have been overlooked. Machine learning algorithms can also detect signs of anxiety and depression in speech patterns of young children, providing a faster and easier way of diagnosing conditions that are difficult to spot and often go unnoticed in young people. If unchecked they lead to an increased risk of abuse and suicide later in life.

With the help of AI audio recordings over a simple phone call helps with child diagnosis with more than 80 per cent accuracy. It also gives the results much more quickly - the algorithm just needs a few seconds for processing time and once the task is complete it provides a diagnosis. No more long waiting time, getting appointments and waiting for the child to respond. It recognizes the monotone voice, high pitched responses and fear.

Depression is common, but many are not able to access treatment whereas some don’t even know they are suffering from it. The development of alternative pathways to mental healthcare is helpful in all scenarios. AI apps are available and accessible 24/7 at little or no cost, programs collect data and offer relevant responses. Through this process, the app is able to better detect and work toward meeting a user's individual behavioural and emotional health goals and needs. These programs can be used anonymously to protect the privacy of individuals.

AI-based depression resources also hope to address other barriers to mental health treatment, such as a lack of providers in rural areas, the stigma associated with mental illness, and feelings of fear, guilt, or shame that may stop someone with depression from reaching out to others. As much as humans are wired for connection and can recognize the benefits of personal counselling and therapy for treating depression, obstacles can prevent people from getting the help they need.

The use of mobile apps and artificial intelligence platforms allows people to receive mental health services within the safety of their own personal living space, which eliminates the possibility of others knowing someone is receiving care, such as by crossing paths with an acquaintance when headed to a counsellor’s office. Hence, technology is helping us accomplish in areas where we humans fail with our touch.


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