What is Psychiatry and How Can We Improve It?
In the last hundred years, most of the medical sciences have progressed in immense and unforeseeable ways--except for psychiatry, which has somehow remained immune to this progress. Daniel Barron, a psychiatrist who trained at the Yale School of Medicine, asks an important question: What's holding psychiatry back?
Reading Our Minds takes us to a psychiatric hospital, where Barron evaluates a young woman with psychosis, and shows how his exam is limited by his own ability to ask questions and observe, and by his patient's ability to sense, interpret, and report her experience. Barron shows why psychiatry must move beyond conversation--and how sensors, measurements, and algorithms might progress psychiatric practice. At once pioneering and engaging, Reading Our Minds introduces readers to the Big Data technologies that might revolutionize the way we evaluate, diagnose, and treat mental illness and bring psychiatry firmly into the fold of 21st-century medical science.
“Psychiatry needs innovation. While new insights may come from genetics and imaging, the smartphone and our digital data may prove an even better tool for objective evidence about our minds and brains. Daniel Barron takes us through the possibilities of this brave new world where technology, often cited as the problem, can become part of the solution for our mental health. With clarity and clinical relevance, he shows us that the future of psychiatry may be already in our hands (orour pockets).” –Tom Insel, Former Director, National Institute of Mental Health, and co-founder of Mindstrong, Humanest Care, Neurawell Therapeutics
"Barron’s Reading Our Minds is wonderfully written and fun to read, a smart and lively exploration of how we can leverage the richness of digital data in a transparent and ethical way to make psychiatry more precise and better understand—and ultimately help—our patients. Barron shows how psychiatry can use technology and keep its humanity.” --Richard A. Friedman, M.D., Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Director of Psychopharmacology Clinic, Weill Cornell Medical College
“Reading Our Minds is a fascinating book about how psychiatrists (and others) can think about and use large quantities of everyday information to refine diagnoses and even employ the results to determine therapeutic success. It reflects the future of psychiatry by bringing hard evidence to a 'soft' specialty." --Robert I. Grossman, M.D., Dean & CEO, NYU Langone Health
About the Author:
Daniel Barron completed his medical training and Psychiatry residency at Yale University's Neuroscience research Training Program. He holds a PhD in Human Brain Imaging from the University of Texas and is a regular contributor at Scientific American. He hosts Science et al., a podcast produced by the Yale School of Medicine. He is currently a fellow in Pain Medicine at the University of Washington. Reading Our Minds is his first book. Follow him at @daniel__barron