February 2, 2022
August 25, 2021
Putting Data to Use in Psychedelic Therapy
Digital medicine is working to back psychedelic therapy with data technology, machine learning, and improved visibility into patient status. Read on to learn how data and platforms like iSTRYM are helping improve the lives of psychotherapy patients and clinicians.
Data is behind almost everything we do — from the weather app we check in the morning to the ads we see on our social media. Data is supporting and informing all of these interactions.
The same goes for healthcare and, especially, mental health care. Data brings information, security, and efficacy to these industries — all factors that have soared for other industries, but lagged behind as ongoing pain points for both clinicians and patients. With the insights that widespread data collection can provide, care providers like clinicians and therapists would gain the ability to objectively measure and improve therapeutic results.
The Pursuit for Concrete Insights in Psychotherapy
The collection of data to inform psychotherapy began in the 1950s and '60s when researchers like Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, and Andrew Weil were utilizing psychedelics like psilocybin and LSD to treat anxiety, depression, and PTSD in patients. At the time, there was a huge stigma that grew around psychedelics, denoting them as dangerous party drugs. The Controlled Substances Act that was passed in the 1970s aided in this myth surrounding psychedelic substances, and all of the research and data that had been collected went dormant.
In the last 10 years, psychedelic research has once again boomed, building on the research of the past. Now, that research looks forward to a more optimistic future, thanks to optimized methods to record, share, and analyze data with machine learning, artificial intelligence, and wearable technology.
Today’s psychedelic therapy venture hints to success with dozens of universities, health centres, and private clinical research centers advocating and informing on controlled consumption.
Data Collection, Analysis, & the Greater Good for Mental Health
The last two years have seen more data being collected than throughout the whole of human history. But where does it go? How does it help?
Well, that's just it. While the data in healthcare and psychiatry is there, it's hasn't been accessible or usable to benefit clinicians and their clients. Rather, we've seen developments in tech and data use in every other industry, such as delivery services, food and drink, entertainment, you name it.
Data informs. It allows us to make decisions based on collective information that has been analyzed and interpreted. The collection of data is nothing new, but the way we analyze and put it to use is an innovative ability that products like iSTRYM lead in.
Take digital epidemiology for example, which uses data to understand the patterns of disease and health dynamics in a population. Digital epidemiology grew by and large when increasing amounts of data became available on the internet, particularly through social media channels. Google Flu Trends, one of the earliest examples of digital epidemiology, used symptomatic search queries and flight data to successfully track influenza-like illnesses.
Technology has made healthcare extremely more affordable and accessible, leveraging data to better understand patients and their needs. Even the growth in wearable technology has aided in this large data collection, thanks to individuals' growing fascination with tracking their own health data, known as the quantified self movement.
iSTRYM has homed in on this movement by collecting biometric data from patients’ wearable devices that are paired to their smartphones. The data is then sent to the clinician’s iSTRYM platform to paint a full picture of client status.
The ability to capture large amounts of data and render valuable insights about patient health status and steps forward is crucial to success — especially in psychedelic-assisted therapy.
In an article for Technology Review, Jeremy Coyle at the University of California Berkeley says they’ve found a new way to study the role of psychoactive drugs on human perception. Highlighting the contrast to the lack of formal scientific literature in this area are the large volumes of narrative descriptions of the effects of these substances online. Their idea is to mine these descriptions using machine learning techniques to identify common features which would allow a quantitative comparison of their effects.
iSTRYM, Machine Learning, AI, oh my
By leveraging machine learning and AI technology, iSTRYM connects clients to databases that allow them to track their physical and mental health with options to record things like weather data and heart rate and connecting them with speech technology like Speak AI, that uses machine learning to inform clinicians of a patient's status through tone and sentiment.
The app also connects clinicians to collective data, tailored to individual clients and supporting better outcomes by providing them with a plethora of information. The gaps that exist in the current healthcare model, are through no fault of their own, rather than a lack of ability to communicate between patient and professional. By providing supportive healing tools that collect and put data to use, with machine learning to understand the patient’s needs and challenges, iSTRYM helps clinicians create individualized care plans.
iSTRYM is improving mental health outcomes with data and technology. To read more, check out our website at MINDCURE.com.