"75% or all mental disorders have their onset by the age of 25. The peak period of onset for depression, bipolar disorder, substance use disorder and personality disorder occurs in adolescence. These findings logically lead to calls for safe interventions as early as possible in the course of the mental illness to avoid the direct and indirect damage to young lives caused by mental disorders. The first step to intervention is, however, identification and access. Despite acknowledgement of the urgent need for effective early intervention of mental disorders in youth, less than 20% of children and adolescents who need mental health care receive services. This means that there are millions of children falling through the cracks. Large-scale efforts are needed to flip these statistics beginning with integrated and coordinated efforts for early identification and assessment."
2018 has been an exciting year for Trayt. We launched our enterprise platform and deployed at the largest children’s hospital in the world. Our most important learning from this process was that our patient population is diverse and they have complex conditions that require multiple caregivers and clinicians. Families have an average commute of 90-minutes to get to providers and they have the burden of documenting and sharing information across the system of care. They have cultural and language barriers and they could not afford the cost of care since insurance doesn’t cover much of the services.
In other words, as the number of ACEs increase so does risk for conditions such as ischemic heart disease, alcoholism, suicide attempts, unintended pregnancies, smoking, financial stress, and sexual violence among others. In fact, after controlling for other risk factors, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that significant childhood trauma was correlated with worse health outcomes and more cases of adult psychiatric disorders.
We need to change the conversation in healthcare from “Privacy” to “Transparency.” They are not mutually exclusive, but the discussion must change to patient-centered health to create transparency across providers while taking all measures to protect patient privacy and ensure data security. Today, the conversation in healthcare remains focused on “Privacy” as the key topic and we keep over engineering it, leaving the burden of transparency and data sharing on the patients. We need a paradigm shift in healthcare.
Sharing your personal health data is not something to take lightly. However, uncertain diagnoses and unusual comorbidities can leave patients desperate to gain any insight into their condition. Worried patients often join online threads and Facebook groups to share their symptoms, hoping someone else can shed some light on their condition. They start to self-diagnose and choose their own treatment paths. This can be dangerous though and has been shown to lead to health complications that are at times irreversible.
It’s true that having a child with a developmental disorder (DD) is never easy; the accompanying uncertainty and stress of finding quality treatments, diagnoses and balance can take a toll on a couple’s marriage. However, the media’s portrayal of the impact of DDs on families and marriages often generalizes, painting a truly bleak and somewhat misleading picture -- one that makes divorce seem like it’s looming around the corner for every family.
Recently, there has been a lot discussion around artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning in the diagnosis and treatment of autism and other similar disorders.
There is clearly vast potential, but the critical point is that these technologies must both learn from and serve existing medical trends and protocols. The fundamental nature of child development and social communication is not well understood by human experts, so technology must aid, not oversimplify, its approach to symptoms, conditions and treatment associated with autism, Fragile X or other similar disorders.
For many years, the tech community has made important contributions to the medical sphere. For example, the development of protheses has helped people with disabilities overcome sensory deficits, loss of function and hearing/speaking impairments. And now, technologists are turning their efforts to remediating social communication barriers that hamper people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in their adaptation to the community, school, work and cultural/recreational opportunities.
Nobody knew how to treat Reza holistically, nor did they think to; Reza’s doctor insisted that his numerous overlapping symptoms were unrelated and needed to be treated independently. Feeling alone and completely out of touch with Reza’s doctors, Malekeh sought to understand her son’s symptoms and how best to care for them.