AI and Well-being: 8 Ways it’s Revolutionizing Health and Wellness

Explore how AI is reshaping health and wellness—from personalized care to confronting bias and more.

Published on August 9, 2023
Last Updated on August 9, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is more than just a buzzword; it's a powerful force transforming many industries.

AI is poised to revolutionize our approach to health and wellness—from mental health chatbots to predictive analytics. In this article, we will explore eight ways AI and well-being transform how consumers and companies approach wellness.

Whether you are curious about the latest developments in mental healthcare or just want to know more about the intersection of AI and wellness, read on.

AI and Well-being: The Power-Pair

Personalized Mental Health Care
The emergence of wellness chatbot platforms involves assessing users' emotional states and providing guidance based on their interactions with the bot. Mental health professionals can deliver more targeted and effective treatments to their patients by leveraging data analysis and intelligent algorithms. By identifying the most effective interventions for similar individuals, analyzing and collecting additional data can help guide treatment recommendations, improving patient well-being outcomes.

Resource Quick Access
Our perception of accessibility is often influenced by where we live and how accessible healthcare is. AI and wellness chatbots provide timely assistance in areas with limited or nonexistent resources. Chatbots can provide 24/7 assistance, which can be helpful during emergencies and help reduce the feeling of isolation.

A Predictive Diagnostic Approach
Predictive modeling is used in various industries and has a place in mental health care. Linguistic models, lifestyle trends, and environmental data can help generative AI platforms predict emerging mental health issues or risk of relapse. This could provide invaluable insight to mental health practitioners in developing preventative care treatment plans and enhancing therapy sessions to target specific symptoms and trends, further proving the beneficial synergy of well-being and AI.

Quick Skills
Cognitive training exercises, mindfulness techniques, and virtual reality therapies can all be used as interventions to inform AI systems that can benefit people worldwide. Virtual reality (VR) resources can address stigma and anonymity concerns. These tools can help users engage in a way that may reduce their fear of judgment and increase anonymity.

AI and Well-being: The Challenges

We cannot account for AI algorithms being trained with biased data, which could lead to discriminatory outcomes. Facial recognition and prediction technology are less accurate in identifying people of color, which can lead to discriminatory racial profiling and inequities in access to viable healthcare information and services. It is widely known that AI is often trained using specific demographic data, which can lead to disparities in diagnostic and treatment recommendations. This can result in certain groups of people receiving inadequate or inappropriate care while others receive preferential treatment. Healthcare providers and organizations need to recognize these issues and take steps to address them. This includes incorporating diverse demographic data into AI training models and ensuring accurate facial recognition technology across all populations. By addressing these issues, healthcare providers and organizations can help to eliminate discriminatory practices and promote equity in healthcare access and treatment.

Privacy Issues
Be cautious when sharing data with generative AI platforms, as data related to AI and well-being are sensitive and have serious privacy concerns. Generative AI collects sensitive data that could be related to someone’s health without proper consent and privacy protections. Ultimately, this could lead to privacy violations and even identity theft.

Harmful Recommendations
Harmful recommendations can occur based on bias concerns and lacking human understanding. With sufficient expert oversight, users and the AI system can interpret data. Misinterpretation and overreliance on AI wellness data could result in mental health issues. Seeking professional guidance is key to ensuring an AI system's recommendations are accurate and safe.

Loss of the Relationship
Humans have an evolutionary need for social connection and belonging, as humans are social creatures who rely on each other for survival. The absence of such connection can lead to loneliness, depression, and isolation. A strong social network and regular human interaction can boost health and longevity and combat feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

For someone who already struggles with social anxiety, depression, or other challenges that lend themselves to isolation, AI may present only a temporary relief. Prolonged dependence can exacerbate loneliness and result in more harmful effects. Coupling this with the increased demand and desire to work from home, AI carries the potential to make human interaction obsolete. While we can technically survive without human connection, it is far from healthy, and the trade-off should be carefully considered, even if AI provides unlimited support on the surface. 

How Humans Can Guide Best Practices in Wellness and AI

When managing AI ethics in health and wellness, human involvement is key. We've come a long way in shaping policies from the early days of the Trust and Safety industry, and that's due as much to human insight as it is to technological advancements. Developers and companies should strive for transparency among their AI algorithms and processes, including how data is collected, stored, analyzed, and used.

It's not just pure science—it's the art of harmonizing technology with a human touch.

Multidisciplinary collaboration amongst industry, governments, and academia is critical to elevate best practices, protect users, and inform inevitable government regulations. Human expertise is needed to develop ethical AI systems and ensure diverse representation in the data required to train AI.  AI cannot engage in cultural humility alone and relies on human developers and designers to incorporate those principles, ensuring AI recognizes and respects the diversity of individuals and communities. Are developers approaching algorithm development from a user-centric approach and using human beings to evaluate the feedback given regularly? Individuals are more likely to trust and accept AI systems when they see themselves represented in the data. As a result, individuals from diverse backgrounds are more inclined to engage in AI-based healthcare solutions and seek support without fear of marginalization.

In summary, the intersection of  AI and wellness holds vast potential to revolutionize our approach to healthcare. While this frontier is filled with promise, it also harbors areas of concern. Companies and individuals must weigh the potential risks, keeping ethical considerations at the forefront of their AI journey. AI should enhance the relationship between individuals and their providers rather than replace it. Human oversight, diverse perspectives, and cultural humility are essential to guide AI development and implementation. With these considerations in mind, we can harness the benefits of AI while prioritizing human well-being.

Embrace AI and Wellness with Us

Navigating transformations such as AI and wellness with a reliable partner by your side is always beneficial. TaskUs, a forefront leader in digital innovation and customer experience, provides tailor-made AI solutions that fit seamlessly within your health and wellness approach. We understand the unique challenges and possibilities that come with the intersection of AI and well-being. By partnering with TaskUs, you add an advantage of strategic expertise, cutting-edge technology, and a commitment to ethical AI practices. Let's explore this revolutionary path together, enhancing healthcare efficiencies, implementing corporate wellness solutions, and putting the focus back on human well-being.

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Rachel Lutz Guevara, LCSW-S
VP, Wellness and Resiliency
Rachel brings 12 years of clinical mental health and programming experience in various settings to her new role on the executive team. She is trained in numerous evidence-based clinical interventions, has developed and implemented programming at several collegiate institutions, and has experience in crisis and risk management.