Is There an App for That?: Ethical Issues in the Digital Mental Health Response to COVID-19

American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 13 (3):177-190 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

As COVID-19 spread, clinicians warned of mental illness epidemics within the coronavirus pandemic. Funding for digital mental health is surging and researchers are calling for widespread adoption to address the mental health sequalae of COVID-19. We consider whether these technologies improve mental health outcomes and whether they exacerbate existing health inequalities laid bare by the pandemic. We argue the evidence for efficacy is weak and the likelihood of increasing inequalities is high. First, we review recent trends in digital mental health. Next, we turn to the clinical literature to show that many technologies proposed as a response to COVID-19 are unlikely to improve outcomes. Then, we argue that even evidence-based technologies run the risk of increasing health disparities. We conclude by suggesting that policymakers should not allocate limited resources to the development of many digital mental health tools and should focus instead on evidence-based solutions to address mental health inequalities.

Similar books and articles

Empowerment or Engagement? Digital Health Technologies for Mental Healthcare.Christopher Burr & Jessica Morley - 2020 - In Christopher Burr & Silvia Milano (eds.), The 2019 Yearbook of the Digital Ethics Lab. pp. 67-88.
COVID-19 and Mental Health: Government Response and Appropriate Measures.Genevieve Bandares-Paulino & Randy A. Tudy - 2020 - Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics 30 (7):378-382.

Analytics

Added to PP
2021-04-15

Downloads
607 (#14,777)

6 months
269 (#1,445)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile