AI to Close US-China Gap in Mental Healthcare
By Kaizhi Tang  |  Dec 17, 2021
AI to Close US-China Gap in Mental Healthcare
Image courtesy of and under license from Shutterstock.com
Dr Kaizhi Tang, co-founder, and Chief Technology Officer of Hangzhou Heaven Rock Technology, which operates the Soul Buddy mental health service platform app, shares his insights into how China’s artificial intelligence prowess, rising economic clout, and changing social attitudes are set to narrow the gulf between it and the United States in the mental healthcare arena.

HANGZHOU, CHINA - As information explodes and media extoll success and outward appearance in an ever more technologically developed modern society, people are becoming ensnared in anxiety, with conflicting self-comparisons, desire, and a resulting sense of impotence that are fueling a mental health crisis worldwide. About 15.5 percent of the global population suffers from mental illness, a figure that is only set to further rise. 

Many need treatment, but over half have yet to receive it.

The state of mental health among China’s masses has clearly deteriorated from 10 years ago, according to the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ ‘Chinese Citizens’ Mental Health Report,’ as the trend toward idolizing youth gains momentum. Also, one in every 100 deaths that year was from suicide, making it one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide, per the latest statistics in the World Health Organization’s ‘Suicide Worldwide in 2019’ report.

Thus, regardless of whether in China, the United States, or in other countries, mental health is a core issue for all humanity to confront this century.

Seen from the technical perspective, psychology is an interdisciplinary field that overlaps with the humanities and natural sciences. From an academic point of view, it is an interdisciplinary subject that spans the humanities and natural sciences, and which encompasses physiology, clinical medicine, and brain science. The discipline originated in Europe, but then its center of gravity gradually migrated to the US.


Mental Health Gulf

In Europe and the US, psychology has a marked social service nature and strong application. A psychological sector professional is on a par with a lawyer or doctor, and in terms of structure, number and quality of employees and user acceptance, the system is leaps and bounds ahead of China, e.g., whose

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