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NPJ Digit Med. 2019 Jun 26;2:61. doi: 10.1038/s41746-019-0137-6. eCollection 2019.

The technology specialist: a 21st century support role in clinical care.

Author information

1Westat, Inc., Lebanon, NH USA.
2Department of Anthropology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH USA.
3The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, NH USA.
4Department of Psychiatry, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA.


Mental health clinicians, clients, and researchers have shown keen interest in using technology to support mental health recovery. However, technology has not been routinely integrated into clinical care. Clients use a wide range of digital tools and apps to help manage their mental health, but clinicians rarely discuss this form of self-management in clinical interactions. This absence of communication is concerning because the safety and quality of the digital tools and apps people use may negatively affect their mental health outcomes. Mental health systems could benefit from someone to help identify technology-based supports that reflect current evidence and minimize privacy and security concerns. This technology specialist may also enhance the therapeutic bond between the client and the clinician. In working with a technology specialist, clients may begin to gain a sense of control over their mental health, and perhaps use fewer mental health services.


Bipolar disorder; Health services; Psychiatric disorders; Psychosis; Schizophrenia

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsThe authors declare no competing interests.

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