Have you ever wondered how you would feel if you were caged?
We can only imagine how awful it must feel when we watch movies and TV series that show people being caged. Unknowingly, most of us are experiencing such a feeling due to the pandemic, although to a lesser degree. With this experience comes a state of anxiety and irritability, with delusion and suicidal tendencies in extreme cases.
The issue of mental wellbeing is reported on by well-known journals and is being addressed by governments of developed nations. But discussion of it remains a social taboo in developing and underdeveloped countries.
Let’s take a quick look at some statistics published by pharmaceutical company Sanofi on World Mental Health Day 2020. Globally, 970m suffer from mental illness, of whom >75% of treatment do not receive proper treatment. These statistics indicate a significant gap in terms of focus, research and unmet need. The situation is significantly better in US, where 51.5m suffer from any mental illness while 45% (23m) of them received mental health services.
Statistics during Pandemic:
This situation was worsened by the pandemic: in a survey of US citizens conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in late June 2020, 40.9% (approx. 135m) of adults reported at least one adverse mental or behavioural health condition; anxiety disorder was approximately three times more and depressive disorder four times more than the number of cases reported in 2Q 2019. Seventy percent of the global working population have had more stress and anxiety at work this year due to long working hours and exhaustion.
On the positive side, though, the pandemic has broken barriers and created more awareness of mental health issues. It has created a sense of urgency for research in this area and brought companies working in this space to centre stage.
Interventions in development:
We have observed research being conducted actively to address this global phenomenon. Besides the use of therapeutics for treatment, research is progressing in a number of ways. We list below a few notable technologies already in use or in development:
- Measurement of mental wellbeing using questionnaires, mobile apps and wearable devices
- Managing consultations by providing privacy while improving the patient’s experience
- Self-management by providing digital and virtual-reality healthcare programmes
- Meditation, hypnotherapy and wellness centres
- Workplace mental health platforms
- AI-enabled clinical decision support
Where do we go from here?
The topic of mental wellbeing is branching into personal wellbeing, digital wellbeing and workplace wellbeing. We believe a more open culture will evolve where we could discuss mental health issues like we do other health disorders. Soon, there may even be an associated wellbeing score that could be used as a parameter when recruiting
How Acuity Knowledge Partners can help
With our deep understanding of industry dynamics and nearly two decades of experience, we are able to empower and assist healthcare clients to navigate these challenging times by strengthening their strategies and businesses.
For more information on our capabilities, please visit our Life science solutions page.
About the Author
Raghu Patale, Delivery Manager, PEC BR, is a delivery manager in life science & health care practice. He has 10 years of experience in healthcare research as competitive intelligence and strategy consultant. He offers scientific, clinical and commercial insights on pharmaceutical and healthcare requests.
Previous to this, Raghu was Group Manager leading Pharma Practice at Evalueserve. He holds a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical sciences from NIPER