Skip to main content

Fiber for Breakfast 2023 Week 33 – Connecting All: How Digital Literacy is Critical for Mental Health

Digital literacy and internet access can substantially help people with mental illness. John Torous, MD MBI and Noy Alon, BS from the Division of Digital Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will discuss how the Internet and Digital Literacy can positively impact patient outcomes and how they have worked to improve patients’ digital literacy and use of smartphones. Dr. Torous and his team have also developed a digital navigator training program to scale Digital Literacy across the country. While their efforts are focused on leveraging broadband to improve Mental Health, these Digital Literacy tools can be applied to different use cases.

Webinar Guests:

John Torous, MD MBI is director of the digital psychiatry division, in the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School affiliated teaching hospital, where he also serves as a staff psychiatrist and assistant professor. He has a background in electrical engineering and computer sciences and received an undergraduate degree in the field from UC Berkeley before attending medical school at UC San Diego. He completed his psychiatry residency, fellowship in clinical informatics, and master’s degree in biomedical informatics at Harvard. Dr. Torous is active in investigating the potential of mobile mental health technologies for psychiatry, publishing over 200 peer reviewed articles on the topic. He serves as editor-in-chief for JMIR Mental Health (, web editor for JAMA Psychiatry and currently leads the American Psychiatric Association’s Health IT Committee.

Noy Alon is a clinical research assistant at the division of digital psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She graduated magna cum ladum and with honors from Brown University with a degree in Biology. She currently leads the department’s digital navigator training, digital literacy program, and app evaluation database ( She aims to attend medical school with the goal of becoming a psychiatrist.