Mental health has been an area of concern for millennia, though the way that humans have gone about dealing with it has varied immensely.
Ancient tribal cultures, for example, used to deal with mental health problems through ritual. Freudian psychotherapy made use of medications that are now illegal. In the 80s and 90s, we began to see the first instances of telemedicine.
The running idea here is that mental health always makes use of the technology available at the time. We now live in a time where technology is unsurpassed, and as such, mental health technologies are also expanding. In this article, we’re going to describe how technology is changing the mental health field.
Technology and Mental Health: A Modern Perspective
There are many different ways that technology can improve the state of mental health throughout the world.
More and more people have been coming to use a form of medical care known as telemedicine.
Telemedicine is unique because it allows people to gain access to healthcare without actually having to leave their homes. Much like a telephone allows people to communicate over a distance, telemedicine allows people to receive medical help over a distance.
Telemedicine actually dates back as early as the 1950s. The humble origins of telehealth revolve around a closed-circuit television program that connected members of the Nebraska Psychiatric Institute with the Norfolk State Hospital.
Since then, there have been a large number of developments. As early as the 1980s, doctors were writing prescriptions and giving diagnosis to patients over the telephone. Progressing later into the 20th century, doctors and other medical professionals began to provide their services to patients over the internet.
More People are Turning to Telehealth
Telephone and internet medicine may have seemed like a passing fad when they were first discovered, but nowadays people are beginning to recognize the importance of these unique forms of medicine.
More and more people are adapting to modern technology, and as such, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits of said technologies. As the years progress, higher numbers of people are turning to telemedicine – especially in the US.
There are quite a few reasons/benefits, such as those mentioned on E-counseling, as to why telehealth is appealing to people.
- People are becoming increasingly busy, with less and less time to spare for their own personal needs. This makes telehealth particularly attractive – it allows people to seek medical help, get diagnosed, or refill a prescription without leaving their homes
- It allows people who are disabled or physically unable to get to the doctor’s office to receive help over the phone or over the internet
- In many areas, telehealth is more affordable than other forms of medical assistance
Conclusion – The Future of Telehealth
As technology continues to expand and grow, we can only expect that telehealth will do the same.
We are now able to communicate with doctors via our smartphones using video chat – an idea that would have seemed absurd even just 30 years ago. Perhaps in the future, we will be able to have medications downloaded directly into our bloodstream, or we will be able to receive EEGs or CAT scans simply by using our own portable devices.
Whatever the case is, there’s little doubt that telehealth will be an important factor for the future of medicine. Telehealth has only been around for half a century, and it has only really been prevalent in the last decade or two.
In this short timeframe, telehealth has completely revolutionized the way that people are able to receive treatment for mental and physical ailments. One can only imagine what the future will hold for telehealth.