A first-of-its-kind analysis, conducted in collaboration with researchers at Microsoft, paints a detailed picture of how people do — or don’t — engage with virtual mental health tools, a step toward expanding the use of digital therapeutics.

Lackluster engagement has long been a thorn in the health tech industry’s side: As mental health tools proliferate, their uptake and long-term use remain relatively low. That problem has taken on new urgency as the pandemic shunts patients from in-person to online treatment. Understanding how different people use digital health platforms is crucial for making them more effective for more people. It’s an especially pressing issue in the rapidly expanding field of digital mental health care.

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