Digital and Technology Rights in Psychiatric Care

Ann Kasper

We will discuss the pros and cons of digital and technological tools used in psychiatric care. In some psychiatric hospitals (even before COVID), patients locked in psychiatric inpatient units are only allowed to be diagnosed and seen by psychiatrists on a video screen, not in person. In theory, these patients could lose their civil rights for 180 days without ever being seen in person by psychiatrists, lawyers or a judge. This presentation will examine the implications of digital rights and the proactive steps our community can take to ensure best care and rights for all. The experience and lessons learned of a small band of peers who created and carried a local state senate bill (OR SB 686, to ensure choice of inpatient in-person psychiatric will be introduced.

The benefits and warnings of the usage of other technologies will be examined. These include as Artificial Intelligence (AI) psychiatric diagnosing, Blockchain medical record keeping, and data from mental health apps in psychiatric medical decisions.

Goals from this presentation include:

  1. Participants will become aware of different new technologies (Blockchain, Virtual Reality, and more, Artificial Intelligence) and how these are being implemented and planned to be utilized in the future of psychiatric care.
  2. Participants will understand at least 3 barriers to creating legislation to protect the rights on people in psychiatric care (outpatient and inpatient) and how to overcome some of these obstacles.
  3. Participants will meet others in the session during a group exercise group to plan for future technological and digital human rights actions in the peer movement. They will create one step for action to implement in their own area of the United States.