Can AI Help Improve Telehealth For Addiction Care?

Customizing and streamlining treatment programs for clients, predicting potential relapses through analyzing behavior patterns, and offering 24/7 support are just a few ways AI is shaping a promising future for addiction treatment.

Can AI Help Improve Telehealth For Addiction Care?

As the use of artificial intelligence (AI) begins to change the landscape of many personal and professional domains, healthcare is one area that can benefit from this type of assistance.

AI has the power to present a promising course of action in the world of addiction telehealth specifically, as it addresses many of the pain points among both providers and clients.

In particular, remote healthcare options can benefit from the tools and real-time adjustments to healthcare programming that AI provides.

For example, AI has the ability to provide 24/7 support to outpatient clients, predict potential relapses through data analysis, offer personalized treatment suggestions, and more.

AI-Powered App For Opioid Use Disorder

One recent example where AI has improved outcomes for people experiencing substance abuse involves a new medication-monitoring app.

When 100 clients with opioid use disorder used the app as part of their medication-assisted treatment (MAT) plan, they remained in treatment 94% of the time over the course of two years.

This is significant because, without the app, clients only remained engaged in treatment a little over half of the time during the same two-year period.

The app improves treatment outcomes for clients in three specific areas:

  • client engagement: an accessible mobile app makes it easier for clients to engage in and remain in treatment
  • virtual care: automation of appointment scheduling and required client assessments keeps both clients and providers on track
  • medication adherence: reminders to take medication, random pill counts, and other tools increase accountability and engagement

The app also collects pertinent data to help treatment providers more easily remain in compliance with required government regulations and documentation.

The State Of Telehealth In Substance Abuse Healthcare

Addiction telehealth, a digital and vital component of modern-day healthcare, has steadily been revolutionizing client care by offering certain medical services remotely.

From virtual appointments to client monitoring, telehealth can bridge both time-based and geographical impasses between clients and their providers.

This innovation proved to be especially useful during the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to grow in its abilities.

Addiction telehealth can maximize the potential for uninterrupted care while also minimizing contact if necessary, such as during the pandemic lockdowns or when clients are unable to travel.

Addiction telehealth also has the potential to promote accountability, convenience, cost management, and more.

This includes helping to remove some barriers to addiction care caused by racial disparities and other imbalances in treatment opportunities.

What Exactly Is AI?

AI is a domain of computer science that is dedicated to creating equally intelligent and independent machines capable of tasks that would normally require human input.

These tasks can include recognizing speech and images, interpreting and analyzing data, making decisions based on probabilities, and more.

AI is not necessarily about purely automating individual processes, though, but rather about bringing speed, scalability, and precision to a number of different possibilities and applications.

Why AI Matters In Addiction Treatment

One of these applications is real-time use in the world of addiction telehealth. AI holds a powerful and transformative opportunity for addiction healthcare for a number of reasons.

AI can enhance various aspects of virtual addiction treatment by identifying patterns, making predictions, and providing other valuable insights into addiction care.

AI And Addiction Therapy

One area where AI can benefit both providers and clients alike is therapy.

AI-powered therapy tools can facilitate effective communication and provide immediate responses, filling the gap between scheduled therapy sessions.

For instance, AI chatbots can be available 24 hours a day, offering real-time support to clients struggling with cravings or emotional distress.

This can be crucial during non-operational hours or when human counselors aren’t immediately available.

This increased level of engagement also has also shown the ability to retain clients on their addiction recovery journeys.

Customization Of Treatment Plans

AI can also personalize therapy plans, analyzing a client’s data to tailor treatment strategies and techniques.

This customization accounts for the fact that addiction recovery is not a one-size-fits-all process.

Since people respond differently to various treatment modalities, AI can help pinpoint the most effective methods for each client via data analysis, such as by reviewing behavioral patterns.

Combining AI And Telehealth For Addiction Treatment

The combination of AI and addiction telehealth has the potential to make care more accessible, customized, and effective for people battling substance use disorders (SUDs).

It helps address one of the major pain points of outpatient care, which is client engagement, and can provide a different kind of insight into treatment for medical professionals and clients alike.

Find Help For Substance Abuse Today

If you or a loved one is battling substance abuse, understand that you are not alone. Contact today to discover treatment options and start your journey to sobriety.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.

These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.

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