Industry and Psychiatry: Need for Closeness with Safe Distance


Mental Health Care Centre Kolkata, General Psychiatry, Kolkata, India


Next level growth of psychiatry demands greater inclusion of industry. Greater interaction with pharmaceutical, biomedical and digital industry will open up newer horizon for psychiatry. Interactions have to be mutually enriching. Psychiatrists need to acquire new skills to understand others’ work, purpose and design. Psychiatrists preferably should be at the steering because they understand the patients’ interest best.

Pharmaceuticals try to manipulate the boundaries of normality for expanding market. We observe recent surge in concern about social and personal problems being medicalised. Mental health being our common target, not collaborating will be counterproductive. So Psychiatrists will have to work in tandem without getting swayed by them.

Brain research has moved forward due to biomedical advancement. Investigations like PET and treatment facilities like Repetitive Trans-cranial Magnetic Stimulation need more confirmation by research before they are used clinically. You need to be cautious because industry is trying to popularise them in clinics. Psychiatrists may fall prey to their trap causing extra expenses and harassment to patients.

Go digital is the buzzword of society in all spheres and mental health is no exception. Appointment, file keeping, data maintenance are all being taken care of digitally and the transformation is pretty fast. Research and Big Data should hugely benefit from this. Over use of machine may modify doctor patient relationship affecting therapeutic outcome. Self-screening for many illnesses may become a day to day reality. Tele mental health is picking up and we need to develop skills for that. As we get more digitalised the issue of data security and privacy would occupy the centre stage of our concern. Restriction in use of untested Apps, blogs and other misleading information is necessary.