Insights Blog



By QLK Team
on May 17, 2021
  • Healthcare | Blog
Four Factors Changing the Future of Behavioral Health in 2021

After COVID-19, it's safe to say that health - as everyone knows it - has changed forever.

Something the pandemic brought to everyone's attention was mental and behavioral health.

There have been plenty of shifts in the behavioral health space shaping a promising future in treatments and accessibility. Below, this blog is examining four factors driving these improvements and defining the long-term outlook of this industry in 2021: 

Altering the Cultures and Behaviors

Here's a statistic about the state of behavioral health:

60% of US adults between 18 and 25-years-old consider working with a behavioral health professional to be associated with strength.

Interestingly, only 35% of adults over the age of 26 saw things the same way. While that might sound discouraging, it proves that the stigma will continue to change as time goes by. With the younger adult demographic comes a snapshot of the near-immediate future and a sign of things to come.

Furthermore, employers have already honed into behavioral health services for employees and their families.

Speaking to the above notion is a survey citing that 68% of employers are increasing their focus on behavioral health offerings over the next 24 months.

Making Critical Data Shareable

Expect a vast data-sharing environment to bolster access to behavioral health treatment throughout 2021.

Spearheading the growth of this trend will be passive collection methods. Namely, sensory technologies will be utilized and are linked to physiological and social-sharing data.

With the continued decline of the stigma, expect consumers to share information about their behavioral health. This shift is already evident, with people being far more open about related symptoms during the pandemic.

The year 2021 will continue seeing the move toward consumers systematically accessing and controlling their data. Efficient and secure data environments will be cultivated by advanced governance standards and a protected centralized database. As such, privacy will be guaranteed, and data will be blind to ensure comfort across the market.

A health information marketplace will result from this, possessing clinical and behavioral data to satisfy public and private needs, such as enabling care matching and routing.

Movements in this direction are firmly in place at the regulatory level. For instance, legal guidelines promoting safe and efficient sharing of behavioral health and substance-use disorder disinformation have been published in California. Beyond that, the General Protection Regulation in the EU is strengthening the push to personal data autonomy and ownership.

A Rise in Interoperable Data

There will be a transition to more optimal nteroperable health data as the years go by.

Expect these interoperable systems to collect and carry holistic health data (e.g., broader lifestyle information). With this information, healthcare workers can identify issues and comorbidity opportunities.

Applying artificial intelligence to this process will help predict behavioral disorders at their earliest. From there, it becomes possible to intervene and make improvements almost immediately, mitigating ongoing problems.

2021 should see many advancements with interoperable data within the behavioral healthcare sphere. Speaking to this notion is how Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft currently support data interoperability in healthcare. These powerhouses are all publishing open-source, cloud-based software that bolsters interoperability.

The Era of the Consumer Empowerment

With the above drastic improvements in behavioral health, consumers can expect more comprehensive and superior treatment options. They'll also be more involved and in control of their treatment modalities.

Hyper-personalized health tools aiding in self-care will contribute to sustained independent well-being. And more affordable pricing will allow for seamless access to improved care, contributing to a more equitable system.

Eclipsing the limits of traditional services means consumers can customize their care. Therefore, anyone with behavioral health issues now has access to abundantly more services to improve their well-being.


If you're in the search for exclusive candidates who fully grasp your industry's evolving nature, contact QLK today for top talent in the healthcare field.