Objective: The aim of this paper is to examine the delivery of mental health care which will be enabled by the various communications technologies over the next 5 to 10 years. Method: A literature review, reviews of multiple Internet websites and the author's personal experience and opinions are combined to provide a commentary on the group of new technologies for communication available within health, and how they will affect the practice of psychiatry and psychiatrists over the next decade. The driving forces for these changes are the rise of consumerism, technological change and financial necessity, and it is evident that patients will have in future much greater choice of access to their therapists than at present. The health-care environment of the future will be different to today, as will the roles of psychiatrists, who will increasingly have to work as members of teams in an expert capacity rather than in traditional one-to-one practice. Conclusions: It is concluded that it is essential for psychiatrists to become involved in online health care, and in particular to join their patients on the Internet, and that there are major opportunities for Australasian psychiatrists to provide high quality psychiatric care across national boundaries, particularly into the Asia-Pacific region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health