>> Maternity unit numbers dwindle
>> Chatbot tools in mental health
The Med & Mic™ 09.18.23
MED NEWS blog post from Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC
Rural Hospitals Close Maternity Wards
More rural hospitals are closing their labor and delivery units due to a declining number of births, staffing issues, and low reimbursement from the government. Fewer than half of rural hospitals have maternity units now. This forces pregnant women to travel longer distances for care or to give birth in the emergency department. More than two million women live in “maternity care deserts,” counties with no hospitals or birth centers that provide obstetric care. Rural residents have a 9% greater probability of facing life-threatening complications or death from pregnancy or birth. (Source: AP, C. Rush and L. Ungar, 9.17.23)
AI Helps with Mental Health Screening
An e-triage tool from a British AI startup has been used to screen more than 210,000 patients with 93% accuracy across eight common mental health disorders, according to the company’s co-founder. The chatbot can help determine the severity and urgency of treatment for depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
An American startup has a tool that can analyze short clips of speech for signs of clinical depression, which can be helpful in clinical call centers. The system uses data from 250,000 people who made voice journals, from which “voice biomarkers” were identified.
The tools could speed access to care when mental health services are underfunded and understaffed. (Source: Axios, R. Heath, 9.18.23)
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