Technology is rapidly permeating the lives of our patients and influencing the clinical practice of psychiatry. From electronic health record (EHR) systems to patient-focused smartphone apps, the way healthcare professionals communicate information with other professionals and with patients have been reshaped dramatically in the last decade. This is partly due to increased access to smartphones, and partly due to nationwide initiatives to modernize the healthcare system with a goal to increase accuracy and efficiency. With increased access to technology, patients and their families have become proactive in obtaining information, rather than relying solely on education from their healthcare providers. Social media use also serves as an alternate avenue in obtaining medical information, including subscribing to interest groups and connecting to others with similar medical conditions.
Millennial students and trainees in medicine have also developed proficiency and, even more so, preference for incorporating technology in their practice, learning, and daily lives. However, they cite lack of guidance in education as a major barrier in incorporating technology fully in their practice. Elements of teaching technology for child and adolescent psychiatry, rural and underserved psychiatry, and general adult psychiatry have been described. Despite demonstrated efficacy and desire among the early career physicians to incorporate technology in their practice, there is a notable discrepancy in culture and expectation of restraint around use of technology in various settings between generations.