Advancements in technology and medical science have helped scientists come up with treatment and intervention for various physical and mental illnesses. However, the saddest part is that modern research methods are yet to provide a complete and reliable treatment for some debilitating mental health problems like schizophrenia. Diagnosis of this emotional disorder, till date, is mostly dependent on traditional ways of evaluation – samples of behavior and symptoms as recorded in clinical settings or details provided by patients. Advanced technology has led to the emergence of mobile health devices (mHealth devices) that help in collecting necessary data and sending them to clinicians. The collected details help clinicians understand if the health plan charted by them is delivering necessary results after which they can make adjustments to avoid any adverse outcomes in future.
The fact that use of mHealth devices have enhanced the level of coordination between patients and their doctors prompted the need to carry out a research into remote patient monitoring technology that can track variation in moods of patients during schizophrenia treatment. The technology, which involves mobile health devices strapped to patients of schizophrenia, helps health care providers in real time tracking of their patients’ response and behavior corresponding to certain situations, thereby, aiding in the treatment process.
Gathering patient data in real world setting
A group of researchers from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center observed 30 patients of schizophrenia with mobile health devices for a span of six days. As part of the study, titled “A new window into psychosis: The rise digital phenotyping, smartphone assessment, and mobile monitoring,” the researchers used the device to collate details like variation in heart rate that was observed to be lower in the patients compared with those included in the control group.
The level of parasympathetic deregulation observed during the study, published online in the journal Schizophrenia Research in January 2018, helped the researchers determine and estimate the extent to which the disorder affects the patients.
However, this is not the first study where researchers get to trace their emotionally distraught patients’ behavior by using tracking tools like mobile health devices. Prior to this, another study titled by the University of Zurich, the University of Bern and Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland had used mobile health devices on 18 patients for four days. The researchers tried to find the correlation between motor activity in the patients with the level of apathy they had shown during the interview process.
The use of digital technology to determine behavior of mentally ill patients and design an apt treatment may seem a far-fetched idea, but evidence obtained from both the studies pinpoint to the fact that such kind of treatment option is possible.
Recovery from schizophrenia
The symptoms of any kind of mental illness worsen when people fail to access timely treatment. This may be possible with most people shying form the idea of discussing their mental illnesses with their loved ones or approaching medical practitioners for fear of being discriminated against.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), schizophrenia can affect people at an early age even before they reach puberty. The burden of the disease can be understood from statistics that indicate patients of schizophrenia having a 5 percent lifetime suicide risk which is way more than that of the general population.
Timely treatment can put such patients on the path to recovery. If any of your loved ones show symptoms of any kind of mental disorientation like schizophrenia, early intervention is recommended. It is necessary that you look for good schizophrenia treatment centers for immediate help. For more information about treatment centers for schizophrenia, call our 24/7 helpline number 866-973-7164 or chat online to know about the possible treatment options available at the schizophrenia treatment centers in California.