Thursday, August 18, 2022

Government urged to invest in digitization of mental health services

Mental health services

The Mental Health Tech Landscape Review, released gby Future Care Capital (FCC), not only recommends a range of measures to enable higher quality care through the use of technology, but it also shows that there is potential for the development of a wider range of different types of technology solution.

This is demonstrated by the relatively small sector niche of companies developing technology solutions for mental health care, when compared to other areas of healthcare, or other sectors.

A new report is urging the government to invest in the digitization of mental healthcare services across England for the benefit of citizens and the health and care workforce to aid in COVID-19 recovery.

Professor Sir Simon Wessely said: “This report confirms what so many of us have witnessed for ourselves – that digital forms of mental health care delivery are beneficial. They are here to stay and indeed spread further.”

He added: ‘There is an opportunity for technologies to provide radically different types of care, rather than merely scaling current approaches online. However, further research into the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of mental health technologies cannot be bypassed.”

In addition, an estimated 1.6 million people are in contact with mental healthcare services but calculating the size of the mental healthcare market is challenging.

The Health and Care Bill and plans for reform of social care should have a significant impact on future mental health care provision. However, there is the danger of mental healthcare “falling through the gaps”.

The research identified a relatively small population of companies developing mental healthcare technology. Of the developers discovered, the main technologies being developed were apps, platforms and IoT (Internet of Things) technologies, as well as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and gamification approaches.

Also, coming up with new ways to maintain good mental health will be as essential as providing tools for acute care and we believe technology has a significant role to play.