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Mental health

AI solutions that are proven to detect mental health issues early

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Research from the World Health Organization shows that depression is a leading cause of disability and people with severe mental health conditions die prematurely due to preventable conditions.

As we look to World Mental Health Day on October 10,it’s clear more progressive approaches are needed to stop this global epidemic.

The key to success in this space is acting in a preventative way to tackle issues before they become acute.

This means helping people to proactively manage their mental health, particularly in their own homes.

Digital solutions are a vital tool in this, as they allow people to seek help virtually and anonymously – breaking the stigma many have around accessing support.

This is key as Bupa’s Wellbeing Index shows that 50 per cent of people would rather self-diagnose, than see a doctor, even though 22 per cent rated their mental health as poor.

In Spain, Bupa are tackling this problem with an innovative, AI-powered mental health service called, ‘Take Care of Your Mind’ which has been proven to help with the early detection and management of mental health problems.

The service uses data points from a daily questionnaire plus information collected from wearable devices that track exercise and sleep to analyse a customer’s mental health.

It then uses AI to provide them with personalised content and suggestions on how to manage their mental health based on the data they’ve shared.

If any concerns are identified around a customer’s mental health, or if they request it, they are offered a virtual session with a therapist.

Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, Bupa’s Global Healthcare Transformation Director, said:

“As a doctor I’ve seen first-hand how difficult it can be for people to speak about their mental health openly, and how, as a result, they often leave it until their mental health reaches a very low point before seeking help.

“These digital technologies enable people to manage their mental health proactively, helping to prevent acute mental health episodes occurring or, in the example of ‘Take Care Of Your Mind’, arrange for clinical intervention as early as possible when problems arise – which leads to better outcomes. ”

Since launching nine months ago, 45,000 customers have accessed the feature via Bupa’s digital health service, Blua, and the results are promising.

Bupa also offer an online service in the UK, partnering with digital mental health service JAAQ – Just Ask A Question.

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