Behavioral Health Management: New Growth Avenues Unveiled
Novel business models supported by virtual care technologies that offer direct patient support will emerge over the next 2-3 years
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The World Health Organization (WHO) made the following statement many years ago, “There is no health without mental health”. Today, as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages the world, another public health crisis is looming over our health systems—that of deteriorating mental health. Mass unemployment, salary reductions, depleting financial security nets, increasing domestic violence, homelessness, and poverty are gaining prevalence due to ending lockdowns and other stringent norms. This is resulting in stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions, which is leading to an overall reduction in quality of life and is linked to a rising number of suicides and a general feeling of morbidity. The despair does not end there. Mental and substance disorders cause lower productivity; the WHO noted that depression and anxiety have cost the global economy an estimated $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. Patients are running out of prescription medication for their mental health conditions. In several countries, including India, getting medication without a prescription is a challenge, and patients have to rely on considerate pharmacists to refill their medication. Telepsychiatry and virtual mental health care are taking off. 2020 saw record funding for mental health start-ups. Virtual mental healthcare vendors, especially in the United States, saw a surge in bookings, and they are making efforts to meet demand by introducing new services, accelerating launch timelines, and hiring more staff. The pandemic has pushed the adoption of technology for various use-cases. While the use of virtual consultations for mental health may slow down when the pandemic subsides, it will continue to be higher than pre-COVID times. In addition to fast-tracking the launches of their services and demonstrating their ability to scale-up, telepsychiatry service providers must have fluid business models based on variable, rather than fixed, costs to manage fluctuating demand. This Frost & Sullivan study decodes the digital health landscape for behavioral health management solutions. It also analyzes the growth opportunities arising from the use of digital health tools such as iCBT, telepsychiatry, enterprise tools, connected sensor-based devices, and AI and analytics-based solutions.
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