Background: Digital health technologies (DHTs) could improve healthcare delivery, yet research on their use in clinical practice is limited. We surveyed healthcare professionals (HCPs) to assess current use of DHTs and gain insights on integrating DHTs into mental healthcare.
Methods: From April 19–June 21, 2019, a digital health survey was distributed to HCPs across the United States via email, direct interactions, or at educational presentations. The survey included questions on types of DHTs used, potential implementation barriers, outcomes that could be most or least improved with DHTs, and learning resources.
Results: Of the survey participants (n=143), most were psychiatrists (20%), nurse practitioners (18%), or pharmacists (17%). Electronic health records (85%) and telepsychiatry (47%) were used most commonly, followed by mental health apps (24%), digital interventions or assessments (24%), clinical decision support systems (22%), and medication adherence technology (18%). Perceived implementation barriers included difficulty integrating with clinical workflows (40%), patients‚Äô comfort with technology (40%), privacy and security concerns (34%), and insufficient infrastructure (28%). Respondents perceived quality of care or clinical outcomes (35%) and patient access to care (27%) as most amenable, and costs (30%) and HCP efficiencies or administrative burdens (29%) as least amenable, to improvement with DHTs. Most respondents (61%) learned about new DHTs from colleagues.
Conclusions: Most HCPs used DHTs for records management and telepsychiatry; however, few used DHTs for patient engagement, clinical management, or intervention. These results highlight opportunities to expand use of DHTs in mental healthcare and indicate a need for better educational resources.