Friday, December 30, 2022

Mental health treatment online can exploit people

Article in The Wall Street Journal exposes how advertising and other strategies to promote expansion of treatment by digital mental health companies are motivated more by profit and not really improving patient care. For example, heavy advertising of ADHD self-diagnosis online (see eg. MediaMatters article) has encouraged people to seek prescription for stimulant medication. Exploitation of this situation by Cerebral Inc. has been described in four podcasts: Uncontrolled Substances. It isn’t just medication but also other physical treatments and psychological therapy that are being oversold on the internet (see eg. previous post). 

Medicine has always exploited patients but the move to online treatment because of the pandemic may have made this situation more obvious. In the end, it’s also the doctors and other health professionals that need to take responsibility alongside corrupt business practices (see eg. another previous post). 

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