TMCnet Feature
February 22, 2021

Therapist Kathryn Diaz Explains How Technology Has Positively Impacted Therapy Industry

Technological innovation, for all of its wonderful effectiveness in helping various industries extend their capabilities, has taken some time to produce a similar influence on the field of therapy, though much of that is due to the nature of therapeutic work.

After all, the field has traditionally consisted of one-on-one, personal, private sessions between the therapist and patient, providing a non-judgmental, open space for the interactions to occur within. While that remains the case and technology certainly cannot make therapists expendable, it is offering greater insight and access to a patient's specific circumstances.

Kathryn Diaz, a passionate therapist from Santa Monica, California, who is intent on connecting people with their shadows and helping them integrate with their true self, shares the numerous ways in which technology has constructively affected the therapy industry.

Remote Sessions

Manpower is a huge challenge in the therapy industry, Kathryn Diaz notes, as there is simply an insufficient number of therapists in many parts of the world. More than half of the globe's countries have four or less therapists per 100,000 people and even the United States, a nation with a higher income, has 65% of its non-metropolitan counties functioning with zero psychiatrists in the area. Zoom, the highly download app that allows for digital meetings, has made it possible for sessions to be conducted remotely. Telemedicine creates an atmosphere that is equally private to an in-person consultation and offers vital services to all patients, but it is particularly useful to those who are living in communities that are both devoid of professional assistance and a considerable distance away from the nearest option.

Sensors and Wearables

Through the implementation of sensors and wearables, people are already accustomed to gathering real-time data on their tendencies, Therapist Kathryn Diaz states. Activity levels, stress measurements, heart rate, sleeping patterns, speaking habits and general movements; these are all monitored by handheld, or attached, devices that serve to shine a light on a person's overall lifestyle. Naturally, this technology has, at last, reached the therapeutic sphere, in the form of affordable products that can observe shifts in one's behavior and mental states. Research is strongly supporting the merit of these measures and the hope lies that, within a few years, the real-time tracking will be perfected, giving patients concise information that simplifies their care regimen.

Delivering Hard Data

Technological platforms are also supplying critical data, according to Kathryn Diaz, that can be incorporated into the training of computer models that uncover the ideal methods of therapy to ensure superior patient outcomes. With more data collected, therapists can better understand what aspects of the practice are suitable for different age groups, genders, and cultural backgrounds. Then, when the data is secured and additional discoveries are gained, specialists can create personalized treatment protocols for an individual patient, a path to recovery that was developed precisely for their personal needs.

Therapist Kathryn Diaz on Improved Record-Keeping

Electronic health records (EHRs) are found in the majority of mental healthcare providers; however, professionals are looking at technology to enhance its efficacy, since data is mostly uncoded and there is a lack of patient-accessible health records. Adjusting these EHRs, therapists can be more decisive and accurate in their means of supporting patients, relying on predictive tools. For service advancements, clinicians can utilize the data as well, while researchers will certainly find it advantageous in supporting their proposed trials. Patient health records (PHRs) are also bound to boost patient and therapist engagement with mental health services.

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