The Role of Technology in Tracking and Improving Mental Wellbeing

Published on 06 Jul, 2023

Mental wellbeing has become a major concern for people of all ages in the modern world. Technology is being developed to help people manage their mental health, which can affect their overall wellbeing. Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, virtual reality, and wearables are being used to create innovative solutions for mental wellness. The growing acceptance of and demand for innovative products in this space indicates there is significant untapped potential.

In an increasingly digital world, technology is revolutionizing various aspects of our lives, including the treatment of mental health and illness. The importance of mental wellbeing has gained significance, especially after the global pandemic led to a mass increase in cases of depression, anxiety, and trauma. The pandemic also exacerbated existing mental health conditions. The global crisis highlighted the crucial link between physical and mental health, emphasizing the need for comprehensive healthcare that addresses both.

With mental wellbeing becoming a grave concern, numerous innovative technologies have emerged to monitor and treat mental problems. These advancements aim to provide individuals with tools and resources to manage their personal emotional wellbeing effectively as well as offer relevant and accurate data to physicians. Some cutting-edge technologies that can redefine the mental health treatment segment are mentioned below.

  1. Wearable Devices – Wearable devices equipped with biometric sensors are paving the way for tracking mental health indicators. Companies such as Fitbit and Garmin have integrated features to monitor heart rate variability (HRV), a measure closely linked to stress levels. By detecting changes in HRV, individuals can identify their stress patterns and take necessary steps to manage it effectively. Some wearables employ electrodermal activity (EDA) sensors, which measure skin conductance. EDA sensors can also identify emotional responses, stress, and anxiety levels, providing users valuable insights into their mental state throughout the day. A notable innovation in this segment is the Apollo Neuro wristband. Apollo offers touch treatment, which eases the nervous systems and soothes a person’s mind. The band improves over time as it is used more and gets attuned to the wearer’s responses to certain situations and issues.
  2. Mobile Apps – Mobile applications have emerged as a popular tool for tracking and improving mental health. Apps such as Insight Timer offer guided meditation sessions that allow users to engage in mindfulness practices and reduce stress. iBreathe is another such app that helps those struggling with anxiety, stress, and insomnia by teaching them breathing techniques.
  3. Chatbots – Recently, chatbot-based therapy apps have gained traction. These apps, e.g., Woebot and Wysa, are built on AI to provide on-demand emotional support. Users can have conversations with the chatbot, which utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help manage anxiety, depression, and stress. While they cannot replace human therapists, these apps offer accessible support and coping strategies.
  4. Virtual Reality – This technology has demonstrated immense potential in the mental health space. It is an immersive experience that calms the overthinking mind, heightens the brain's rewiring process, and de-stresses the nervous system. It allows users to confront and manage their fears and anxieties. This exposure therapy technique has proven effective for treating phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health conditions. Companies such as Psious and Firsthand Technology are creating treatments to help overcome phobia, manage pain, and relieve stress.
  5. AI Platforms – AI platforms can be employed to examine electronic health records, questionnaires, voice recordings, behavioral indicators, blood tests, brain imaging, and even data gathered from a patient's social media accounts. To parse patient data and identify mental and physical states — pain, mind-wandering, boredom, stress, or suicidal thoughts — connected to a specific mental health disorder, data scientists use various techniques including supervised machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing. According to an analysis of 28 studies on the application of AI to mental health by IBM and the University of California, algorithms can identify a number of mental illnesses with 63–92% accuracy depending on the AI technique used and caliber of training data.

Sr. No.


Name of Product/Company



Apollo Neuro


Mobile AppsInsight Timer, iBreathe


Chatbots Woebot, Wysa


Virtual Reality

Psious, Firsthand


AI Platforms
IBM, University of California

The aforementioned examples represent only a few instances of how technology can prove advantageous in the treatment of mental health conditions. Numerous other innovations are currently under development or in the testing phase, holding the potential to significantly transform the landscape of mental health treatment.


While these technologies offer significant benefits, they also face challenges that hinder their widespread adoption and efficacy. These mainly include the following:

  • Lack of Government Policies – The rapid growth of mental health technologies has outpaced the development of comprehensive regulations and policies. The lack of standardized guidelines for data privacy, security, and ethical considerations raises concerns about the potential misuse of sensitive mental health information. Establishing robust frameworks and regulations is crucial to protect users' privacy and ensure responsible implementation.
  • Web Access – Unequal access to technology and internet connectivity remains a barrier to the successful execution of some of these solutions. Many individuals from marginalized communities or underserved areas may lack the necessary resources to access mental health technologies. This digital divide limits the reach and impact of these advancements.
  • Negative Influence – While technology can offer solutions for mental wellbeing, they have often been a reason for causing issues such as depression, isolation, and mental anguish. The constant connectivity offered by mobile phones has blurred the boundaries between work and personal life, leading to increased stress levels and an inability to disconnect. The pressure to always be available and responsive can take a toll on mental wellbeing. Furthermore, the prevalence of social media platforms and the digital comparison culture can worsen feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Constant exposure to often idealized versions of others' lives can contribute to a distorted self-perception and a sense of discontent.


The emergence of various technologies has transformed the field of mental health tracking, offering unprecedented opportunities for early detection, monitoring, and intervention. From wearable devices to smartphone apps, these technological innovations have provided individuals with the means to gain deeper insights into their own mental wellbeing, allowing them to seek timely assistance when needed. As we continue to witness remarkable advancements in this domain, there is great potential for even better solutions to emerge.

Future advancements can address some of the existing challenges, such as the need for enhanced accuracy and precision in data analysis, increased interoperability between different platforms, and personalized interventions based on individual needs.

However, ensuring ethical and responsible use of these technologies is of paramount importance. Privacy and data security must be prioritized to safeguard individuals' sensitive information and foster trust in mental health tracking systems. Additionally, extreme reliance on digital tools should be tracked and regulated. Striking the right balance between technology and human touch is essential, as mental health is a deeply personal and complex domain that often requires empathy, understanding, and human intervention.