Empowering the digital therapeutic relationship: virtual clinics for digital health interventions




As “digital phenotyping” and monitoring technologies begin to unleash the potential of data insights for mental health care, we propose here a complementary concept of the “digital therapeutic relationship” to unleash the power of the patient-provider alliance in clinical care. In millions of clinics today, care decisions are made on a daily basis in the context of a relationship honed through professional training to be respectful, protective, and empowering of patients. Now as clinical care evolves toward online and especially mobile platforms, it is critical to not ignore the digital therapeutic relationship and instead to realize that supporting it will require new and innovative means of care delivery. Here, we propose that technology can be harnessed to facilitate, augment, and expand these relationships directly, and identify virtual clinics as the currently missing but necessary environment to unleash the true potential of digital medicine. full article