Saturday January 18, 2020

Rising Awareness Among Indians Towards Mental Health

The healthcare map, which highlights key consumer healthcare trends, concerns and behaviour, has been compiled from thousands of searches and appointments, by over 13 crore patients, across more than 50 cities and over 250 specialties, in 2018.

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A World Health Organisation (WHO) report states that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental concern or disorder. Pixabay

While mental health has often remained a widely ignored topic and a taboo in the Indian society, a new report shows over 80 per cent rise in the number of people seeking help for mental health issues, especially in tier-2 cities.

According to domestic digital healthcare platform Practo’s annual healthcare map, there has been 82 per cent increase in the appointments with psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists in tier-2 cities — Indore, Kanpur, Nagpur, Jaipur, Vishakapatnam, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad and Patna.

People in these cities sought help mostly for depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), marriage counselling, stress, de-addiction and anger management among others.

mental health
“This indicates that unhealthy lifestyle habits, long working hours and work-life imbalance are taking a toll on people and their mental health,” the Practo report said.
Pixabay

“It is a common belief that mental issues are mainly arising in metro cities owing to the stressful lifestyles. However, the non-metro cities are also in immediate need for access to mental healthcare,” Aparna Mahesh, psychotherapist at Practo, told IANS.

“The sharp increase in the number of physical appointments with psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists in these towns and cities clearly indicates that Indians beyond metros are seeking timely help to address their concerns rather than ignoring or self-medicating,” Mahesh added.

In tier-1 cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Hyderabad — a 24 per cent increase was seen in the appointments with psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists.

A World Health Organisation (WHO) report states that 7.5 per cent of the Indian population suffers from some form of mental concern or disorder.

 

mental health
“It is a common belief that mental issues are mainly arising in metro cities owing to the stressful lifestyles. However, the non-metro cities are also in immediate need for access to mental healthcare,” Aparna Mahesh, psychotherapist at Practo, told IANS.
Pixabay

“This indicates that unhealthy lifestyle habits, long working hours and work-life imbalance are taking a toll on people and their mental health,” the Practo report said.

Further, it was found that Indians visited their doctors 3.2 times a year in 2018, up from 2.7 times in 2017. Gynaecology, dermatology and paediatrics emerged as top three specialties where most visits occurred.

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This is, however, lower than Japan where patients visited doctors 13 times or the US where visits to doctors were a little over four times in 2018.

The healthcare map, which highlights key consumer healthcare trends, concerns and behaviour, has been compiled from thousands of searches and appointments, by over 13 crore patients, across more than 50 cities and over 250 specialties, in 2018. (IANS)

Next Story

Researchers Develop AI Tool To Detect Mental Health Issues

Tracking changes in clinical states is important to detect if there is a change that shows whether the condition has improved or worsened that would warrant the need for changing treatment

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The USC Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL), which has long applied artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to identify and classify video, audio and physiological data, partnered with researchers to analyse voice data from patients being treated for serious mental illnesses. Pixabay

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can accurately detect changes in clinical states in voice data of patients with bipolar, schizophrenia and depressive disorders as accurately as attending doctors.

“Machine learning allowed us to illuminate the various clinically-meaningful dimensions of language use and vocal patterns of the patients over time and personalised at each individual level,” said Indian-origin researcher and study senior author Shri Narayanan from University of Southern California (USC) in the US.

The USC Signal Analysis and Interpretation Lab (SAIL), which has long applied artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and classify video, audio and physiological data, partnered with researchers to analyse voice data from patients being treated for serious mental illnesses.

For the results, the researchers used the ‘MyCoachConnect’ interactive voice and mobile tool, created and hosted on the Chorus platform to provide voice diaries related to their mental health states.

SAIL team then collaborated with researchers to apply artificial intelligence to listen to hundreds of voicemails using custom software to detect changes in patients’ clinical states. According to the study, the AI was able to match clinicians’ ratings of their patients.

Tracking changes in clinical states is important to detect if there is a change that shows whether the condition has improved or worsened that would warrant the need for changing treatment, the researchers said.

AI
Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can accurately detect changes in clinical states in voice data of patients with bipolar, schizophrenia and depressive disorders as accurately as attending doctors. Pixabay

This project builds on SAIL’s body of work in behavioural machine intelligence to analyse psychotherapy sessions to detect empathy of addiction counselors-in-training in order to improve their chances of better outcomes, in addition to the Lab’s work analysing language for cognitive diagnoses and legal processes.

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“Our approach builds on that fundamental technique to hear what people are saying about using the modern AI. We hope this will help us better understand how our patients are doing and transform mental health care to be more personalised and proactive to what an individual needs,” said study lead author Armen Arevian. (IANS)