PRESS RELEASE 28 October 2014

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Transforming mental healthcare through digital technology

A national symposium will address the need to grow a faster evidence-base to support the adoption of rapidly emerging new technologies in mental healthcare.

Following last year's successful launch event, MindTech – a National Institute for Health Research Healthcare Technology Co-operative (NIHR HTC) – is holding its second national symposium on Monday 24 November 2014 at the Royal College of Physicians, London, titled Mind The Gap – How can evidence keep pace with new technologies in mental healthcare?

MindTech, based at the Institute of Mental Health, is a partnership between The University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust. It is a national research centre that brings together industry, service users, academia and the NHS with the aim of accelerating the development, evaluation and adoption of new digital technologies to make support more accessible, flexible and timely for people with mental health problems.

Examples include apps for self-management and monitoring, on-line therapy and consultations and on-line support through secure social media. These technologies can revolutionise mental healthcare, by providing support and evidenced based interventions 'anytime, anywhere' in a way that people already access with remote banking, retail services and social media.

Professor Chris Hollis, Clinical Director, NIHR MindTech HTC and professor of psychiatry at the University of Nottingham, said: "New digital technologies have the power to revolutionise the delivery and experience of mental healthcare. Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people in their lifetime – but until now technology has made few inroads into diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.

"This event will showcase some of the most exciting and innovative approaches ever developed in mental healthcare. The symposium will provide a unique opportunity for networking and sharing of experience and ideas between NHS clinicians, service users, academics, businesses, research funders and health policy makers."

MindTech has recently received high profile backing from Stephen Fry who tweeted about his support for MindTech and its work on mental health technology innovations (@stephenfry).

Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer also commented: "I'm delighted to support the second National Symposium on Mental Health and Technology organised by the NIHR MindTech HTC. My recent CMO Annual Report 'Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the evidence' describes the stark reality of a 'treatment gap' in mental healthcare where about 75% of people with mental illness in the U.K. fail to receive any treatment at all.

Evidence-based technologies, including eHealth and mHealth interventions, offer the potential to close this gap and transform mental healthcare delivery by enhancing adherence support and symptom monitoring and facilitating more timely early interventions in pathways to illness. This important national symposium focusses on the key challenge of how best to apply the principles of evidence-based medicine to evaluate the benefits of rapidly emerging technologies in mental healthcare."

The symposium is supported by the NIHR, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and the headline sponsor, IXICO plc. IXICO, the Brain Health Company, provides innovative technologies to organisations that are involved in researching and treating serious diseases to help make rapid decisions and improve patient outcomes.

The full-day event has a packed agenda of discussions and demonstrations of technology and apps that support mental healthcare. There will be presentations from nationally recognised experts in the field of mental health, including MindTech Chair, Professor Mike Cooke CBE, Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Professor Chris Hollis, MindTech Clinical Director and keynote speakers Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director of Mental Health, NHS England and Gregor Henderson, National Lead – Wellbeing and Mental Health, Public Health England.

Key innovations that will be presented include: digital approaches to managing psychosis; using video technology for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT); Big White Wall (an online peer support and e-therapy programme); the opportunities around the use of avatar-based therapy in clinical services; mobile and smartphone apps that allow patients to monitor their condition, adjust treatment and liaise remotely with their clinician.

For more information about MindTech and to book your place at the national symposium visit www.mindtech.org.uk or visit the Institute of Mental Health website at www.institutemh.org.uk

For more information please contact:

Sarah Gallivan, IMH Communications Manager

Tel: 0115 7484300

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes to the editor:

The Institute of Mental Health was launched in 2006 in Nottingham to help transform understanding and treatment of mental illness and can now be considered as one of the leading mental health institutes in the UK, offering world class expertise and insight.

The Institute is a partnership between Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust ( www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk ) and The University of Nottingham ( www.nottingham.ac.uk ).

Further information on www.institutemh.org.uk and www.mentalhealthclinicians.org.uk

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RT @MindTech_Doc: Massive potential here - particularly for digital health interventions in IAPT - particularly those focussed on reducing…