[Dr. Christy Armstrong] Hello, and welcome
to Next Generation Behavioral Health. [Dr. Julie Kinn] 10-minute tips for modernizing
patient care. [music]
[Dr. Christy Armstrong] I’m Dr. Christina Armstrong. [Dr. Julie Kinn] And I’m Dr. Julie Kinn. Christy and I are psychologists working in
the Defense Health Agency of the US Department of Defense. Our team develops health technology to help
support service members, veterans, and their families, and their military healthcare teams. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] And we also train
clinicians on how to use technology in clinical care. In this podcast, we’ll share answers to the
most common questions we hear. [Dr. Julie Kinn] And we’ll do it in 10 minutes
or you get your money back. Today, we’re going to be talking about what
to expect from this series and why we’re so interested in global health technology. I think to help answer that question we should
probably share a little bit about our backgrounds because we’ve been working together in the
DOD since what, 2010? [Dr. Christy Armstrong] That’s right, 2010
we both started working together. [Dr. Julie Kinn] We both started primarily
as researchers on a project including technology to look at reducing suicide outcomes and self-harm,
but since then we’ve both been in lots of health technology projects. And your big role has been leading education
and training for our providers. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] For the last three
years, I’ve worked as the education and training program lead at the National Center for Telehealth
& Technology. And we have been traveling across the country
training military providers and some VA providers on how to safely and ethically use technology
in their clinical practice. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Yep, and I’m one of your
trainers so I get to work with you on that. I’m also the deputy director for our mobile
health program so I get to oversee the teams that make our mobile apps, websites, and other
health technology for behavioral health, mental illness, and general quality of life. So I guess that’s enough about us unless there’s
anything else you wanted to add. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] No, I think that’s
it. All right. So Julie, let’s talk about why mobile health
is so important. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Well, when we first started
doing these trainings many years ago we’d have folks come up to us and ask, “How do
I download an app?” Or, “What’s the difference between an app
and a website?” We don’t get so many of those questions anymore. Our providers are getting a lot more tech-savvy,
but they’re still not using health technology with their patients as much as they probably
could considering that our beneficiaries are using it all the time. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] That’s right. All the patients that we typically see in
the military, a lot of them are very young. About two-thirds of service members are age
30 and below. So although they’re this group of very young,
vibrant people that are usually pretty comfortable using technology in every aspect of their
lives, providers are generally 30 and above. For all of us folks that are 30 and above,
smartphones and mobile apps and things did not exist when we were growing up and definitely
didn’t exist when we went through training. So understandably, a lot of providers are
hesitant. How do I integrate this into care? However, they also have the conflict that
they see their patients coming in saying, “Hey, I’m using this app to track my sleep
or my activity.” And frankly, a lot of times providers have
had the unfortunate situation that then they kind of disregard the data because they’re
not sure what to do with it. [Dr. Julie Kinn] These days I do believe a
lot of providers use health technology for themselves like recording calories, their
steps, fitness schedules, medication compliance. And they know their patients are using it
too, they just want to know how to leverage that technology in an effective and evidence-based
way. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] That’s right, and
a lot of research has been coming out showing the benefits of mobile health and clinical
care. We’ve seen data showing that patients are
more compliant with homework when we integrate a really high-quality app into their treatment. Also, it’s more efficient the way we conduct
our care is more efficient if we’re not looking at a piece of paper, we’re instead able to
see how the data was tracked conveniently over time. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Right. A lot of what we’re going to be talking about
in this series is practical tips like, how to tell which apps are good apps, which ones
are safe to use and effective and evidence-based, how to dip your toe into the water and meet
your patients halfway. We know that if patients are showing that
engagement if they’re bringing you an app to look at, we want to encourage that. Of course, we’ll repeat this message, too,
that we don’t want to force people into using health technology if they’re not comfortable
with it. And of course, we’ll have episodes all about
the ethics and cultural considerations. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Definitely. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Like you said, keep in mind
that our beneficiaries are using mobile devices in all facets of their lives. Most providers these days and definitely most
of our service members are sleeping next to their smartphones. They’re using them as alarm clocks and so
that means that the first thing we see when we wake up in the morning and the last thing
we see when we go to bed at night is our smartphone or mobile device. Just think of the potential for leveraging
that technology that’s already pretty much attached to us to help with behavioral health
care. We’ll also bring in some interesting guests
to talk about modern innovation in health technology, so you can be on the cutting edge. Our bottom line is going to be, get out there,
kick the tires, learn about the technology because your patients are already using it
and we want you to be familiar with it so that you can help them use it safely and effectively. So Christy, what are some of the other main
points you’d like to get across to our listeners? [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Integrating technology
into care doesn’t change the way you’re practicing. When we’re trained on how to provide evidence-based
treatments, we are not veering from that at all, just because the new technology came
in. The most important part of this new edition
of a mobile app is that you’re taking that evidence-based treatment and now you’re doing
it in a more efficient way. And you’re also able to collect data that’s
actually accurate. So, Julie, I’ve got a question for you. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Okay. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Say, in the past,
before mobile apps and [in?] care came about, how would you have your patients track their
moods in between their sessions? [Dr. Julie Kinn] A sheet of paper. I would have printed out a sheet of paper
from the computer and they would fold it up and stick it in their pocket or their purse
or their wallet. And then most times I would either never see
it again or I would come across them filling it out in the waiting room. It didn’t have that environmental– oh, what’s
the word? [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Ecological validity,
right? [Dr. Julie Kinn] Thank you. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Absolutely. That’s the fancy science term, everybody,
for the data isn’t accurate at all because it wasn’t being taken at the point the person
was experiencing it. So you’re right. All the military providers that we see, all
the providers we work with, have that same response. They laugh when we talk about that because
it’s so true. If your patient happens to be compliant with
the homework, most likely what will happen is they’ll busily fill out a whole thought
record or all their moods or all their sleep information right there in the waiting room
right before you see them. [Dr. Julie Kinn] It’s also stigma inducing. We know that our military patients, and for
many civilians as well, perceive a stigma against receiving treatment for behavioral
health, right? So when you ask them to fill out a big sheet
of paper, that can be stressful and increase some of those stigma inducing thoughts. Whereas, if it looks like they’re just playing
a game on their phone, sliding little red dots up and back, like is the case with the
T2 Mood Tracker, then it reduces some of that barrier to care. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Right. It’s going to increase their privacy of their
data instead of having this piece of paper flopping around. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Yes, exactly. We’ll get into many more practical tips, 10-minute
tips, throughout this series. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] Providers have been
hesitant to adopt this technology in clinical care and so that’s why we wanted to create
this podcast to share with providers how to introduce an app, how to choose an app, how
to prescribe an app, and also give you some insight from some of the leading experts in
military mobile health. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Thank you so much for joining
us today on our first episode of Next Generation Behavioral Health. Let us know what new health technologies are
exciting to you. [Dr. Christy Armstrong] And stay tuned for
future episodes about protecting patient information, how to prescribe apps, the latest mobile health
research, and also interviews with experts. [Dr. Julie Kinn] Next Generation Behavioral
Health is produced by the Defense Health Agency. Reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter @MilitaryHealth
and subscribe and rate our show on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. [music]

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