From e-health to i-health: Prospective reflexions on the use of intelligent systems in mental health care

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Abstract

Depressive disorders cover a set of disabling problems, often chronic or recurrent. They are characterized by a high level of psychiatric and somatic comorbidities and represent an important public health problem. To date, therapeutic solutions remain unsatisfactory. For some researchers, this is a sign of decisive paradigmatic failure due to the way in which disorders are conceptualized. They hypothesize that the symptoms of a categorical disorder, or of different comorbid disorders, can be interwoven in chains of interdependencies on different elements, of which it would be possible to act independently and synergistically to influence the functioning of the symptom system, rather than limiting oneself to targeting a hypothetical single underlying cause. New connected technologies make it possible to invent new observation and intervention tools allowing better phenotypic characterization of disorders and their evolution, that fit particularly well into this new “symptoms network” paradigm. Synergies are possible and desirable between these technological and epistemological innovations and can possibly help to solve some of the difficult problems people with mental disorders face in their everyday life, as we will show through a fictional case study exploring the possibilities of connected technologies in mental disorders in the near future.

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Briffault, X., Morgiève, M., & Courtet, P. (2018). From e-health to i-health: Prospective reflexions on the use of intelligent systems in mental health care. Brain Sciences, 8(6). https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8060098

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