News Feature | October 14, 2016

Big Data Helping Transform Behavioral Health

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Look For Big Data Opportunities In Healthcare IT

Leveraging data analytics to improve delivery of behavioral health services.

The global market for population health management software and services is expected to double in size over the next five years, reaching $31.9 billion by 2020 according to Tractica. As we continue to see a shift from volume to value-based care, healthcare providers will increasingly utilize Big Data analytics to help improve its system of care.

And one place, Big Data can be particularly useful is in addressing those with mental and substance use disorders. According to Basic Needs, mental and substance use disorders surpass HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes, and transport injuries in terms of their disease burden on populations. The global financial impact of mental disorders in terms of lost economic input over the next 20 years is estimated at $16 trillion, or 25 percent of the 2010 global GDP, and yet more than two thirds of affected persons worldwide and more than 90 percent of those in low resource countries do not have access to treatment.

Approximately 20 percent of Americans battle mental health issues every year, more than heart disease or diabetes, and it is estimated more than half of those affected may not seek treatment. A growing number of veterans also face these challenges.

In an effort to address these challenges, a number of initiatives have recently been launched. Over the past several years, the Durkheim Project, comprised of a multidisciplinary team of artificial intelligence and medical experts and funded by DARPA, delivered a data-powered mental health screening system that applied Big Data analytics to predictive healthcare models to help identify veterans at risk of suicide and get them the treatment they needed. Together, Big Data and analytics can provide a greater risk assessment for individuals over time, reach a larger number of individuals, particularly in underserved regions, and reduce costs by isolating those truly at risk.

Now, the South Florida Behavioral Health Network has announced it will utilize ODH’s Mentrics to enhance its system of care. This includes the integration of clinical and social support services with jail diversion programs, and the integration of data to support prevention, treatment and recovery services for those with mental health and substance abuse disorders across Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties.

“We want to ensure all individuals living with behavioral disorders in South Florida have access to the treatment they need, and that requires sophisticated and powerful tools to help us identify those most at risk and in need of services,” said John Dow, President and CEO, South Florida Behavioral Health Network. “We are confident that Mentrics will help us achieve our goal of coordinating the delivery of high-quality care.”

Research finds those who suffer from mental illness are three times more likely to be incarcerated rather than be treated in a mental health facility. SFBHN has committed itself to supporting jail diversion programs that serve as an alternative to incarceration, particularly for those with behavioral or mental health issues. ODH’s Mentrics behavioral population health management solution delivers comprehensive and predictive insights to allow key stakeholders to take a collaborative approach to care.

“We are pleased to expand our long-standing commitment to SFBHN and the underserved population dealing with mental illness and substance use disorders,” said Michael Jarjour, President and CEO, ODH. “ODH fully supports the mission of reducing unnecessary incarceration for individuals with behavioral disorders.”