Current Psychiatry Reports

, 21:88 | Cite as

The Future of Digital Psychiatry

  • Keith HarimanEmail author
  • Antonio Ventriglio
  • Dinesh Bhugra
Psychiatry in the Digital Age (J Shore, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Psychiatry in the Digital Age


Purpose of Review

Treatments in psychiatry have been rapidly changing over the last century, following the development of psychopharmacology and new research achievements. However, with advances in technology, the practice of psychiatry in the future will likely be influenced by new trends based on computerized approaches and digital communication. We examined four major areas that will probably impact on the clinical practice in the next few years: telepsychiatry; social media; mobile applications and internet of things; artificial intelligence; and machine learning.

Recent Findings

Developments in these four areas will benefit patients throughout the journey of the illness, encompassing early diagnosis, even before the patients present to a clinician; personalized treatment on demand at anytime and anywhere; better prediction on patient outcomes; and even how mental illnesses are diagnosed in the future.


Though the evidence for many technology-based interventions or mobile applications is still insufficient, it is likely that such advances in technology will play a larger role in the way that patient receives mental health interventions in the future, leading to easier access to them and improved outcomes.


Mental health Digital psychiatry Telepsychiatry Social media Mobile applications Artificial intelligence 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Hariman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonio Ventriglio
    • 2
  • Dinesh Bhugra
    • 3
  1. 1.Castle Peak HospitalTuen MunHong Kong
  2. 2.University of FoggiaFoggiaItaly
  3. 3.Kings College LondonInstitute of PsychiatryLondonUK

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