We spoke to Dr. Abhishek Pratap, a new Independent Scientist and the Group Head of Artificial Intelligence and Digital Health at the Krembil Centre for Neuroinformatics, to discuss how technological advances in mental health care can help improve accessibility for patients and reduce stigma.
“I believe responsibly leveraged technology can fundamentally change the way mental health services will be deployed in the future. My research will focus on developing technology-augmented solutions for mental health that are used in the real world by patients, providers, and the community at large. My interests are to understand what mental health assessments and mediation mechanisms work for whom, when, and for how long, to ultimately help improve long-term outcomes and to transition mental health towards personalized care.
Most people with mental health disorders are not able to receive adequate and timely care in both high- and low-resource settings. To help improve long-term outcomes, there is a need to develop new ways to assess specific underlying constructs of behaviour patterns in the real world that are linked to neurological and psychiatric conditions. Technology-enabled services offer an incredible opportunity to bridge the gap in mental health care by being more accessible and potentially less stigmatizing, and could be offered either in conjunction or independently of local mental health services.
Over the last 12 years, I’ve worked across a wide spectrum of biomedical research domains: from assessing genetic interactions to capturing people’s lived experiences of diseases. I have worked on national and international research projects, and most recently held the position of Principal Scientist, Digital Health at Sage Bionetworks where I led the deployment of many real-world studies to evaluate long-term disease trajectories specifically in neurological and psychiatric ailments.
Right from my first visit, I was drawn to CAMH’s purpose-driven mission to make mental health the centre of health and to aim to build a future mental health centre that will help provide care to a diverse community digitally beyond our clinical facilities. In essence, CAMH’s strategic plan to include digital mental health at the core of its mission attracted me.”
“Having lived in Seattle for the last 8 years, I have fallen in love with all the outdoorsy things the beautiful pacific northwest offers, including amazing coffee. My wife and our two young boys enjoy exploring local and national parks in the region including in stunning British Columbia.”
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
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