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Digital Technology and Mental Health Interventions: Opportunities and Challenges


The growth of the Internet, mobile phones, social media and other digital technologies has changed our world in many ways. It has provided individuals with information that was previously only available to a select few. An example of the reach of technology is data that as of October 2012, there are over 6 billion phones worldwide (BBC, 2012). The availability of data in real time has presented hopes of intervening more efficiently and managing health problems by leveraging limited human resources. It also has an impact in changing the roles of providers and patients and in legal and ethical issues including privacy in digital health interactions. This paper will discuss why digital technology has received recent attention in the area of mental health, present some applications of technology for mental health to date, explore the challenges to full implementation in clinical settings, and present future opportunities for digital technologies.

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