Virtual Psychology is a global community of scientist-practitioners with an interest in the reciprocal relations between psychology and technology. We have strong community bases in North and South America (USA, Argentina, Bolivia), South-Eastern Europe (Italy, Slovenia, Czechia), Northern Europe (Finland), Middle-East (Israel, Iran, Qatar), and Asia (India, Pakistan, China).
Our motivation is to offer innovative tools to mental health clinicians and researchers that enable them to make better and more accurate diagnostic assessments. More than that, we are intrigued by the idea of exploring the mind as a computational system, and we perceive computation (hardware, software, and networking) as a reflection (projection) of our human brain’s wetware, cognitions, emotions, and interpersonal connectivity.
We believe new technology can serve the advancement of mental health. New technologies expand the mental health practitioner toolset and the outreach of technology-advanced practice to peripheral and underserved populations.
So we set our development team to work in order to provide advanced programs that would create a synergy between computer science and clinical psychology. Specifically, creating internet-based computational implementations of mental health diagnostic assessment standards, the Rorschach test, and the DSM-5.
Virtual Psychology started by providing the RAP, a widely used program for coding and interpreting the Rorschach inkblots test. Today, the RAP is one of the most popular programs used with the Rorschach test worldwide in various clinical settings: hospitals, clinics, private practices, and universities. During the coronavirus pandemic, we published the COVID-19 Rorschach test dataset. The dataset includes about half a million worldwide coded responses to the inkblots and is intended to enable research for pre-post-pandemic patterns.
Recently, with the RAP+, we extended the program’s interpretation capability. In addition, we presented our new mental health diagnostic program, the DxP. A diagnostic program that derives from the North American psychiatric model of establishing a diagnosis on the base of well-defined criteria. The DxP bridges the gap between advanced computation and traditional clinical work. We effectively enable mental health practitioners to be more knowledgeable and precise when applying the DSM-5.
Clinicians around the world turn to the DSM-5 for its methodological approach to the diagnosis of mental health disorders. The DSM nosologic system is a common language for practitioners to gather and exchange patient information and enables consistent and reliable diagnoses. Yet, it isn’t the easiest tool to use.
Typically, mental health practitioners would consult their DSM-5 handbook to fine-tune or research their diagnostic by going through chapters and pages. Analyzing the symptoms under each disorder to match them as best as possible with their patient. Although the method becomes faster over time, this antiquated process was greatly improved with the DxP diagnostic program.
The DxP uses dynamic algorithms to analyze the clinician input in correlation with the DSM-5 and provides diagnostic information and recommendations, including related symptoms, risks, progression, and differential diagnosis. At each stage of the diagnostic process, the program assists you in reaching an informed, detailed, and precise diagnostic assessment for your patient.
While maintaining the highest level of data safety via full HIPAA compliance, the DxP is intended to provide the clinician with maximum control over the diagnosis. The final diagnosis is made based on the clinician's judgment about the degree of agreement between the patient’s clinical picture and the diagnosis criteria and specifiers.
Never heard of a symptom analysis before? With the DxP you don’t need to search for the best disorder categories, rather you can start directly with the patient’s clinical symptoms and the DxP AI program generates the best disorder matches. The more detailed the symptoms entered, the more accurate and precise the results from this machine-learning mental health diagnostician.
Does using the DxP really make a difference? Yes. Studies and meta-analyses show consistent findings of improving diagnosis when using actuarial systems. With the DxP, the DSM-5 is algorithmized, easier to use, and with heightened accuracy.
The DxP was developed with practical applications in mind. In essence, the program reverse-engineers the diagnostic process for each disorder outlined in the DSM-5. Throughout, the diagnostic process is ongoing. Starting at the initial referral stage and ending with treatment termination, all of the patient’s diagnostic information is stored in one place, with its full history and analytic reports.
Convenient, for each patient, a diagnostic assessment record is kept with options to edit and review, add new tests, or make new diagnostics and assign multiple diagnoses.
Secure, Virtual Psychology’s DxP program is HIPAA compliant, ensuring patient information secrecy by strictly collecting general identifiers only (gender and approximate age). For more information about our patient privacy measures, see our HIPAA security documentation.
Mental health practitioners can enjoy many benefits from using the DxP in their clinical practice or research. With the DxP, applying the DSM-5 is not only more accurate and reliable, but it is also faster.
The DxP is easy to use and provides you with a systemic and informed diagnosis quickly. With the DxP’s Diagnoses Checker, detailed descriptions of symptoms, behaviors, and functioning can be entered. Within seconds, the DxP proposes the most likely diagnoses for you to review and establish a precise diagnosis. You may also use the Diagnoses Clusters to explore mental health disorders in categories, or the Diagnoses Lists to search through all the DSM-5 by disorder name or ICD-10-CM.
Moreover, the DxP goes way further than attaching a disorder to a patient’s ID. It also takes you through a diagnostic process that systematically evaluates the patient through the DSM-5’s methodology. The program provides information about each diagnosis and presents the criteria for the diagnosis. The diagnostician entries are saved and the program sets the appropriate specifiers of the diagnosis, with interactive scales for severity, duration, remission, and other clinically relevant specifiers of the diagnosis.
Though rigidly adherent to the DSM, the program accuracy requires clinical judgment and the clinician has ultimate control over the diagnostic process and its results.
With the integration of the program’s methodological approach and the clinician’s clinical judgment, the diagnostic process is straightforward to establish and the resulting analysis is insightful.
At a time when the need for more mental health care is becoming a recognized issue, and with it a requirement for well-trained practitioners, the DxP is all the more essential for graduate students.
In our internal testing, graduate students who used the program to diagnose case studies made diagnoses more accurately and reliably compared to students who did not use it.
In the field, that means these young mental health practitioners can be reliable and helpful to their patients more quickly and with fewer risks of misdiagnosis.
Is there a risk that students might rely on the DxP too much? No, clinical judgment still applies and the diagnostic analysis still needs to be confirmed by the clinician. Furthermore, the DxP can also be used as a learning tool. Throughout each stage of the diagnostic process, there is detailed information available about disorders, scales, sub-criterion, and specifiers. Knowledge is available across the DxP, to help strengthen or refresh one’s psychopathology education.
When exploring the DSM-5 for mental health research, the DxP offers a selection of valuable options for additional information to enable better comparison within a group of patients when looking for patterns or correlations. You have the option to export diagnostic data as a CSV (comma-separated variables) file for further analysis. It is possible to export the patient’s demographics and assigned diagnoses, as its psychotic symptoms severity scale record.
The DxP Psychotic Symptoms Severity scale is based on the APA DSM-5 Clinician-Rated Dimensions of Psychosis Symptom Severity and is presented within the DxP as an optional specifier in many psychotics disorders to monitor the presence and severity of eight psychotic symptoms, throughout the psychotic episode.
Notably, the Virtual Psychology toolset provides the foundation for exploring the relations between coded responses to the Rorschach test, DSM diagnoses, and mental disorders. For example, we can search to increase the test's predictive validity by associating test results, like Constellations, with specific mental disorders or clusters of disorders.
For more details about the DxP program and its functions, consult our documentation.
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