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Healthcare in a post-covid digital world: how to be protected

February 21, 2022

Disruptive technologies – such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital reality, blockchain and the cloud – are ushering in a new era for consumers, industries and organizations. Over 10,000 mental health apps are currently on the market, yet regulations do not fully protect against the sharing of sensitive consumer data or ensure a standard quality of, for example, chatbot psychologists.

According to the World Economic Forum, between a quarter and half of the global population is affected by a mental disorder at some point in their life. Between 2011 and 2030, the cumulative economic output loss associated with mental disorders is projected to be $16.3 trillion worldwide.

New ethical questions about the safety, efficacy, equity and sustainability of digital mental healthcare – online and through apps – are being raised around the world, and businesses are being held to account over their creation and endorsement of services. And how can governments and companies that offer mental health apps work together to protect patients in a post-COVID digital world? 

The World Economic Forum and Deloitte created a policy framework and toolkit to help users address major ethical concerns, protecting consumers, enabling them to assess quality mental healthcare more easily, and helping them make more informed choices about their own mental health.

“People are turning to apps on their smartphones in an attempt to deal with a growing number of mental health challenges. This toolkit will help to ensure their safety and privacy”, said Arnaud Bernaert, Head of Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum.

“This initiative is about protecting consumers, enabling them to more easily assess quality mental healthcare, helping them make more informed choices about their own mental health, and encouraging the strategic growth of safe, ethical and effective digital mental health services”, added Stephanie Allen, Global Health Care Sector Leader at Deloitte.

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Source: World Economic Forum