If you are passionate about behavioral health the way I am, you may have ideas for ways the industry can improve. No matter which part of the system you are looking to change, you will encounter roadblocks. Behavioral health is an industry that you need to take seriously, so these challenges are often there for good reasons. Let me tell you about some areas you should be extra cognizant of.
In the US, access to health insurance (and especially health insurance that covers behavioral health) is much less inclusive than in other countries. Consider whether your contribution to the field would have any negative consequences for the insurance companies, doctors, or patients. While some products may find ways to lower costs, others may increase them, and someone has to pay the bill. This is an easy roadblock to get stuck on and should not be taken lightly.
Professionals in the field of behavioral health may not like your product. This can have devastating results, as articles may be published talking about your company and how it is hurting the system. Be especially careful of this if you do not have a degree in psychology or a similar social science. You can overcome this by having trained professionals back you before any negative press would come out. Staying proactive is better in this case.
Beyond professional opinions, you also have to face any research about your product’s success rate. In fact, if you are hoping to have a product in clients’ hands, be prepared for possible mandatory research on safety and effectiveness. This is another area that can destroy an idea, simply because science will quantify how good or bad your product is.
Finally, your patients are also going to have opinions on your product as well. Let’s say that you have created an app that patients are meant to use during therapy sessions. If patients are not tech-savvy, they may become frustrated and refuse to use your product. Others may simply not like it. The reason why patients’ opinions are so important is that they can have a ripple effect. If every patient in a facility hates what you have created, chances are the higher-ups will discontinue use. Likewise, if patients react positively, your product may be utilized more often.
As in any field, behavioral health has its tough areas. If your product is non-client-facing, you may be able to avoid some of these problems. However, anyone who is attempting to place a new product into clients’ hands will most likely come across all of these problems. No matter what, I highly suggest getting the help of licensed professionals, which may help you avoid some simple problems.