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Digital Privacy in Mental Healthcare: Current Issues and Recommendations for Technology Use

Published time: 20 May 2020

Authors: Samuel D Lustgarten, Yunkyoung L Garrison, Morgan T Sinnard, Anthony WP Flynn

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, Mental Health


Mental healthcare providers increasingly use technology for psychotherapy services. This progress enables professionals to communicate, store information, and rely on digital software and hardware. Emails, text messaging, telepsychology/telemental health therapy, electronic medical records, cloud-based storage, apps/applications, and assessments are now available within the provision of services. Of those mentioned, some are directly utilized for psychotherapy while others indirectly aid providers. Whereas professionals previously wrote notes locally, technology has empowered providers to work more efficiently with third-party services and solutions. However, the implementation of these advancements in mental healthcare involves consequences to digital privacy and might increase clients’ risk of unintended breaches of confidentiality. This manuscript reviews common technologies, considers the vulnerabilities therein, and proposes suggestions to strengthen privacy.

Digital privacy in mental healthcare; current issues and recommendations for technology use



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