Chapter 11 - Telepsychiatry and Digital Mental Health Care in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Implications for Service Delivery in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Elsevier, Understanding Uniqueness and Diversity in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 2018, Pages 263-287
Savita Malhotra and Ruchita Shah

The application of information and communication technology in mental health care has expanded far beyond conventional telepsychiatry exemplified by videoconferencing and teleconsultation. Conventional models of telepsychiatry, such as direct referral and the consultation and collaborative care models, involve different degrees of resource intensiveness and effectiveness. However, these conventional models are not ideal in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) because of the severe scarcity of child and adolescent mental health professionals. An innovative model combining conventional telepsychiatry with health informatics, termed the “tele-enabling” model, focuses on capacity building by no-specialists through the use of a logic-linked diagnostic and management decision support system for child and adolescent psychiatric disorders, and has the potential for use as an alternative or adjunct to deliver child and adolescent mental health care in LMIC. Increasing use of digital technologies and artificial intelligence may represent a powerful future strategy to deliver child and adolescent mental health care around the globe.