- Financial technologies (FinTech) for mental health: The potential of objective financial data to better understand the relationships between financial behavior and mental healthBlair, Johnna, Brozena, Jeff, Matthews, Mark, Richardson, Thomas, and Abdullah, SaeedFrontiers in Psychiatry 2022
Financial stability is a key challenge for individuals with mental illnesses. Symptomatic periods often manifest in poor financial decision-making including compulsive spending and risky behaviors. This article explores research opportunities and challenges in developing financial technologies (FinTech) to support individuals with mental health. Specifically, we focus on how objective financial data might lead to novel mental health assessment and intervention methods. We have used data from one individual with bipolar disorder (BD) (i.e., an N = 1 case study) to illustrate feasibility of collecting and analyzing objective financial data alongside mental health factors. While we have not found statistically significant trends nor our findings are generalizable beyond this case, our approach provides an insight into the potential of using objective financial data to identify early warning signs and thereby, enable preemptive care for individuals with serious mental illnesses. We have also identified challenges of accessing objective financial data. The paper outlines what data is currently available, what can be done with it, and what factors to consider when working with financial data. We have also explored future directions for developing interventions to support financial well-being and stability. Furthermore, we have described the technical, ethical, and equity challenges for financial data-driven assessments and intervention methods, as well as provided a broad research agenda to address these challenges.