Kintsugi Mental Health Summit: March 2, 2022. Kintsugi recently gathered leaders in healthcare, science, and tech at the inaugural Kintsugi Mental Health Summit to have an intimate discussion on mental health equity, the perceived gaps in the current landscape, and the keys to long-term success for digital health innovation.
We’d like to express our gratitude to the senior leadership below who have offered their time and expertise to discuss the most pressing issues we are facing today in behavioral healthcare.
- Gerald Hautman - Chief Medical Officer/SVP National Accounts at UHG
- Fredric Reyelts, MD - Medical Director for Innovation, Mercy Health Physician Partners
- Andy Rink, MD - SVP and GM, Truepill
- Grace Chang - Founder & CEO, Kintsugi
- Kevin O’Leary - Co-Founder, HTN - Moderator
Below, we’ve rounded up the top four takeaways from this mental health summit.
Virtual Health Improves Access to Care
Where and how a person lives greatly impacts their health outcomes. Not every person has access to quality health care, especially those living in more challenging circumstances. The depression rate in the US has tripled since the pandemic first hit, with those of low income identified as being the highest risk.1
A top-of-mind concern is delivering care for the millions of Americans living in inner-cities and rural areas. Residents in rural areas face challenges such as, provider shortages, large geographic distance to care, and high cost of healthcare. Similarly, inner-city populations are at high-risk for poor outcomes and barriers to care include lack of access, poor distribution of providers, and financial constraints. It is challenging to achieve positive health outcomes when these patients cannot easily receive medical attention or establish continuity of care with providers.
Today, there is a lot of tech trying to address this mental healthcare crisis, and virtual health is one way to improve access to quality and comprehensive care.
Achieving Mental Health Equity By Meeting Patients Where They Are
The key to success is not creating something outside the current experience. Passive implementation to meet the individual wherever they are most comfortable will be key to adoption. This approach enhances provider-member trust, ensures early identification of behavioral health issues, and can decrease downstream costs of untreated depression and anxiety.
These virtual systems must ensure that care provided to these populations are coordinated, address milder issues in behavioral health, and also engage critically impacted groups, such as the youth and elderly. Easily fixable barriers to healthcare can be as simple as implementing better scheduling. Virtual health should work towards creating a frictionless experience so that getting in touch with a provider is as seamless as ordering a car.
Measurement-Driven Behavioral Health Creates Access and Efficiency
Behavioral health is still predominantly measured through paper tests like PHQ-9 and GAD-7. Improving standards for the measurement of behavioral health is paramount to improving access and efficiency. Not only will this clearly improve data tracking and evidence-based outcomes, but the measurement of behavioral health is key to understanding medication adherence.
A common point of view is that virtual health will lead to high utilization with no direct data to point to an improvement in results. In the quest to produce favorable outcomes, innovation in measurement-driven behavioral health tools must be created hand-in-hand with science and validated by experts in mental health.
Proactive Treatment Begins with Passive Symptom Tracking
As always, the implementation of virtual healthcare should support the unique and complex needs of a population. Improving the customer experience and market research will be important factors in helping us predict the future of mental healthcare.
The emergence of biomarkers are paving the way for early detection. More importantly, passive symptom tracking with biomarkers easily captures this data so that providers can provide more proactive treatment. Technology that can passively integrate into everyday life will also play a role in mental healthcare in the future.
The Kintsugi Mental Health Summit is honored to have hosted distinguished guests in health, science, and tech to discuss the state of mental health now and into the future. By acknowledging the behavioral health issues that we face today and those that we foresee, we can help address the growing challenges in mental healthcare, improve health outcomes, and better set ourselves up for future success.
We are looking forward to seeing you all again for the Fall Kintsugi Mental Health Summit!
This Kintsugi Mental Health Summit is a semi-annual event that is invitation-only. The event follows Chatham House Rules and content is not recorded to preserve spirited and open conversation