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Innovative Health Technology (Next Generation Behavioral Health Podcast)

Innovative Health Technology (Next Generation Behavioral Health Podcast)

[Dr. Christy Armstrong] Hello, and welcome
to Next Generation Behavioral Health. [Dr. Julie Kinn] 10-minute tips for modernizing
patient care. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] [music] I’m Dr. Christina
Armstrong. [Dr. Julie Kinn] And I’m Dr. Julie Kinn. Christy and I work in the Department of Defense
helping make mobile apps, web, other kinds of technology to help military, and veterans,
and their families, especially with behavioral health. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] That’s right. Our team develops and evaluates health technology,
and we also train behavioral health providers on how to integrate technology into clinical
care. And in this podcast, we share answers to the
most common questions we hear. [Dr. Julie Kinn] And we do it in 10 minutes,
or you get your money back. Today will be especially challenging because
we have a really exciting guest, Dr. Amanda Edwards-Stewart. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in
the Department of Defense, and she’s been involved in some of the most innovative projects
in military behavioral health. Thank you so much for joining us, Dr. Stewart. [Dr. Amanda Stewart] Thanks for having me. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Dr. Stewart, how do
you describe your role in the defense health agency? [Dr. Amanda Stewart] I lead the innovations
program which is made up of a chief technology officer, a developer, and myself. And I serve as what we call the subject matter
expert. So I get the idea for what technology we should
play with, test out, and then I try and come up with an integration for that technology
with some sort of behavioral health concern or problem. [Dr. Julie Kinn] How do you pick the new technologies
that you’ve assessed for future use for military and veterans and their provider? S3 01:35 That’s a great question. We usually try and pick the technology through
environmental scans of what technology is out there, who’s using it, what seems to be
up and coming and is popular with users as well as development companies. But we don’t just do it based on the technology. We also try and get feedback from our end
users. So that could be behavioral health providers. It can be service members, their families. We want to find out what it is that they want
and what they need. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] After you find a technology
you’re interested in, what comes next? [Dr. Amanda Stewart] Well, next, what we usually
do is we want to find out how safe that technology is for our end users. So if we’re going to use it, it should be
pretty safe. And our developers actually will do something
called ethical hacking. So anytime we find a new technology, we try
and hack it and find out what are all the problems with it and where data can get lost
or stolen by more malicious hackers. And then, after we sort of determine how the
privacy and security work for that particular technology or software, so either our hardware
or our software, then we come up with, or I come up with, a proof of concept which is
let’s take this technology and let’s put it in a certain context that is appropriate for
behavioral healthcare, and let’s actually build that out as cheap as we possibly can
to find out all the possible limitations, see if it works, see if we can even build
it, get an idea of how much it would actually cost to do it full scale. So that’s generally what we do. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] So Dr. Stewart, if
I’m a listener who’s interested in what’s coming around the corner, which technology
should I be paying attention to? [Dr. Julie Kinn] Yeah. We want to be the cool kids on the block. So tell us what we should– yeah [laughter]. [Dr. Amanda Stewart] Well, I think you guys
are pretty cool. But I will tell you what I think in terms
of technology as sort of up and coming. Augmented reality isn’t a new technology,
but it’s something where we’re starting to get some bigger players that are interested
in it like Apple and Microsoft. So I actually think the potential for augmented
reality is pretty big, and I think we’ll see some great things in the future that sort
of can tie into behavioral healthcare. Wearables are just exploding. So most people know about smartwatches but
there’s even wearables that are things like little patches that you can attach to your
skin that’ll get biometric data, so your heart rate, your breathing. That has the potential of even being able
to record sleep through things like movement and light exposure. And I think that wearables that integrate
in your shoes, Nike has something like that, or athletic clothing is also a really popular
area. Other technologies that I think have great
potential are sort of what we’ll call broadly the internet of things. So technology that integrates in some way
with anything that’s available via the internet. You can see this with Alexa or Google Home
where you have this hub that integrates with a whole bunch of other apps. So things that control your light switches
and allow you to order things online just through verbal commands. So I actually think there’s a lot of use,
and that’s probably an area that’s just going to get better and better and have more competitors
in it. And the last area I’d mention is the integration
of something called big data with artificial intelligence which uses some machine learning
as well. So I’ll give you an example what that might
be. It’s usually taking a lot of different sources
of information, so patients could have all of their medical records associated with,
say, their health biometric data with wearables. And if we can take all these things, all these
sort of sources of information, somehow combine them, and then create an algorithm, so the
artificial intelligence part of it that determines if there’s a relationship between the days
that you feel depressed and you’ve stopped moving those days, you’re laying down more,
things like that. So that can provide useful information to
patients and providers alike that say, “Well, maybe you shouldn’t be doing this behavior. Maybe actually there’s a better way to do
this.” And it gives the patient immediate feedback
about how they’re doing. So I think all those areas are sort of what
are up and coming. [Dr. Julie Kinn] That’s fantastic. I know we are almost out of time here, but
do you have any advice that you would give clinicians listening about how to integrate
health technology into caring for their patients? [Dr. Amanda Stewart] I would tell providers
not to discredit their patient information when they come in with some kind of commercial
technology. So if they have a Fitbit, and they want to
show you their data, get excited about it too. That means you have a patient who’s willing
to participate in their treatment, and they really want to give you information. So try and figure out what that information
is and how it can be integrated into your sessions as opposed to discrediting it. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Oh, that’s great advice. Thank you so much for joining us today. [Dr. Amanda Stewart] Thanks for having me. [Dr. Julie Kinn] I hope we can invite you
back to talk about some of the apps that you helped develop. [Dr. Amanda Stewart] I’d love that. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Thanks for joining
us on Next Generation Behavioral Health. Please let us know what new health technologies
are exciting to you. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Connect with us on Facebook
and Twitter @MilitaryHealth. And thank you for subscribing and rating us
on iTunes or wherever you find podcasts. Be sure to listen to our other shows and check
out our free mobile apps and websites for the military community. Next Generation Behavioral Health is produced
by the Defense Health Agency. [music]

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