Monday, June 29, 2015

Consumer-Facing Apps Need a Provider

Mental health providers have fought the reputation of being ineffective and unscientific by adopting evidence-based treatment models like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  On the one hand, these models tend to be structured and use some form of protocol or manual.  But regardless of the treatment model being used, study after study has shown that treatment works better when there is a strong therapeutic relationship.

The most effective treatment providers are able to build a strong alliance in part by adapting the protocol to an individual's particular needs.  Treatment is much more than an algorithm, which is why technology will never completely replace the role of a doctor or a therapist.

Because the relationship is such a strong predictor of behavioral health outcomes, consumer-facing technology should leverage the provider.  Not surprisingly, patient education and remote monitoring are less effective when they feel cookie cutter.  For example, patients are more receptive to educational content when it is shared directly by their provider than when it is sent as a bulk email blast.

Utila was built on the premise that the provider relationship should drive treatment.  Utila allows providers to engage clients with individualized content that reinforces face-to-face or videoconference sessions.   Just ask yourself: would you rather get a personalized message from your provider or generic advice sent out to everyone?


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