The role of technology in mental healthcare
Our briefing note explores the ethical and social issues arising from the use of technology in mental healthcare.
Recent years have witnessed the rapid development of technology for the assessment, monitoring, and managing of mental health conditions and for improvement of mental wellbeing. Technology is developing at speed and many expect it to provide innovative solutions for many challenges faced by mental health services.
The shift towards new contactless forms of mental health support has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent increased exposure of the population to remote healthcare technologies.[ii]
This briefing note summarises emerging technological advancements and the potential ethical and social issues that their application in mental healthcare might raise. Our work was informed by a series of engagement sessions with people with lived experience of metal health problems organised by Rethink Mental Illness.*
*The Nuffield Council on Bioethics commissioned Rethink Mental Illness to run engagement sessions with people with lived experience of metal health problems to inform this briefing note. For a summary of the discussions, see: Rethink Mental Illness (2022) Summary paper: Engaging experts by experience about the role of digital technology in the future of mental healthcare.