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The AI Revolution Series – How AI Can Be Used in Behavioral Health

AI-enabled technology can assist those with behavioral health conditions and SUDS


May 16, 2024 – According to study on The State of Mental Health in America in 2023, 21% of adults are experiencing at least one mental illness, including anxiety, depression, substance use disorders (SUDS), and other complex behavioral health issues. This is a complex area of healthcare, where AI provides some interesting solutions. 

In past blogs in our AI series, we have looked at how AI can be used for home health, home care, and healthy aging. In this blog, we will explore the transformative potential of AI in revolutionizing how we address mental health issues. From predictive analytics identifying at-risk individuals to AI-powered chatbots providing immediate mental health support, the capabilities of AI extend far beyond conventional care methods. 

As advocates, we are excited to see innovative solutions to address behavioral health issues come to the forefront as this is a big area of care that is often overlooked. However, we need to ensure that these solutions are not administered in lieu of human interaction, and that proper care coordination and follow up continues. To learn more about our advocate’s perspective, check out our full write up at the end of the blog to hear more of our thoughts!

Using Predictive Analysis to Detect Earl Signs of Behavioral Health Issues

AI has many applications in healthcare and is increasingly being recognized for its potential to impact the management and treatment of behavioral health issues. By leveraging AI, healthcare providers can offer more personalized, efficient, and accessible care to those struggling with behavioral health conditions such as anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders (SUDS).

One of the most promising applications of AI in this area is predictive analytics. Predictive analytics can analyze patterns in a patient’s behavior and medical history to identify early signs of behavioral health issues. AI-driven tools can also recognize speech and text patterns that are indicative of emotional distress or mental health crises and then offer real-time interventions. This early detection is crucial for timely intervention, potentially preventing the escalation of these conditions. This ties into value-based payments because early interventions not only keep costs lower by reducing the need for costly hospitalizations, but also improves overall health outcomes. 

For those with SUDS, there are many applications for AI. Addicaid, an app that detects predict an individual’s risk for relapse, is a great tool. Other apps like Triggr, a replacement for a group meeting setting like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are also helpful. These are AI-driven tools that can not only predict the risk of relapse but can also provide an outlet for those individuals without the stigma that many think come with attending group meetings. 

AI Can Also Be Used to Treat Behavioral Health Conditions

While AI can be used to detect the early signs of behavioral health issues, it can also be used to help treat them. AI can also provide personalized companionship to help alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, which is acute among older Americans. In fact, almost half of our aging seniors reported feelings of loneliness, which is a significant factor in mental health deterioration. Through conversational AI chat bots and apps, individuals can engage in meaningful interactions, receiving empathetic responses and engagement that mimic human companionship. The integration of AI in mental health and companionship services represents a significant advancement in home care, offering innovative solutions that can improve the quality of life for those struggling with mental health issues.

AI-driven chatbots and machine mental health assistants like ElliQ and Earkick can also be used to provide 24/7 support to individuals. They can offer coping strategies, mindfulness exercises, and even crisis intervention in an accessible and stigma-free manner. Because human interaction is still essential, these AI tools can also guide users to appropriate resources and professional help when necessary. It is also important to note that these types of technology do not explicitly claim to diagnose or treat medical conditions. This means they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so we do need to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place to ensure proper implementation and monitoring of these technologies.

By integrating AI into the treatment and management of behavioral health issues, the healthcare industry can overcome traditional barriers to care, such as accessibility, stigma, and a one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. The use of AI not only improves the quality and efficiency of behavioral health services but also paves the way for more compassionate, personalized, and proactive care.

Advocates Perspective

The integration of AI into behavioral health aligns with the goal of value-based payments and helps guide us towards a future where healthcare prioritizes whole person care. AI has already been used in physical health settings, but seeing how it can address behavioral health is promising. This synergy benefits consumers by offering more personalized, effective, and accessible care that can improve quality of life and health outcomes. As AI boosts the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery, it supports the core goals of VBP—improving patient health while reducing costs. This ultimately leads towards a healthcare system that not only treats illness but also proactively focuses on overall well-being to ensure care is tailored to individual needs. However, this adjustment will not come without challenges, and we need to ensure that providers have the proper infrastructure in place to not only administer the technology, but to also monitor and follow up on it to ensure there are no gaps in care. 

Stay tuned for our next blog in the AI Revolution Series, that explores how AI can also be used to analyze and address health-related social needs.


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About the Author

Fady Sahhar brings over 30 years of senior management experience working with major multinational companies including Sara Lee, Mobil Oil, Tenneco Packaging, Pactiv, Progressive Insurance, Transitions Optical, PPG Industries and Essilor (France).

His corporate responsibilities included new product development, strategic planning, marketing management, and global sales. He has developed a number of global communications networks, launched products in over 45 countries, and managed a number of branded patented products.

mandy sahhar

About the Co-Author

Mandy Sahhar provides experience in digital marketing, event management, and business development. Her background has allowed her to get in on the ground floor of marketing efforts including website design, content marketing, and trade show planning. Through her modern approach, she focuses on bringing businesses into the new digital age of marketing through unique approaches and focused content creation. With a passion for communications, she can bring a fresh perspective to an ever-changing industry. Mandy has an MBA with a marketing concentration from Canisius College.