Mental health in an unequal world. World Mental Health Day 2021

Mental health in an unequal world. World Mental Health Day 2021

Mental illness, why bother if all goes well? Because the day it hits you or your loved ones, you may be faced with the harsh reality of “Mental Health in an unequal world”. Close to 1 billion people globally are living with a mental disorder. Yet, countries spend on avg. 2% of their national health budgets on mental health leaving a disproportionate gap between demand for mental health services and supply. Each year, October 10th marks the “World Mental Health Day”. This year the theme is “Mental Health in an Unequal World”. 

Originally chosen by the World Federation for Mental Health, the theme Mental Health in an Unequal World” refers to the inequality in access to health services in low- and middle-income countries, where between 75% and 95% of patients with mental disorders have no access to mental health services at all. Despite the universal nature and the magnitude of mental illness, the gap between demand for mental health services and supply remains substantial.

The global pandemic along with the climate crisis and social disarrangement lead the world to a difficult place. To date, the pandemic is impacting people of all ages and backgrounds: Illness, economic impact, job insecurity, and most importantly, physical distancing leading to social isolation and millions of people facing mental health issues.

  • Close to one billion people have a mental disorder and anyone can be affected.
  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Globally, an estimated 5% of adults suffer from depression.
  • Globally, one in seven 10-19-year-olds suffers from a mental disorder. Half of all such disorders begin by the age of 14, but most go undiagnosed and untreated.
  • People with severe mental disorders like schizophrenia typically die 10-20 years earlier than the general population.
  • One in 100 deaths is by suicide. It is the fourth leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29.
  • The COVID -19 pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s mental health.

The World Federation for Mental Health also addresses the disparity between mental health investment and overall health. On average, countries spend only 2% of their national health budgets on mental health. This has changed little in recent years. Despite the scale of mental illness, the gap between demand for mental health services and supply remains substantial. Unaddressed mental health issues are now a leading global cause of disability and suffering. Yet only 10% receive “adequate” treatment – 75% receive no treatment at all.

The limited global availability of effective mental health treatments and a lack of objective measures of response to treatment, are some of the barriers in advancing patient outcomes. To reduce burden, it is critical to diagnose and monitor mood disorders using widely accessible, less costly, and scalable methods, which can enable a higher degree of specificity in mental health diagnoses and timely detection of clinical deterioration.

Building on the widespread adoption of smartphones, mobile health (mhealth) has gained significant interest as a means for capturing continuous, objectively observable and measurable data of patients’ behaviour and mental state. The data collected on smartphones and sensors represent a new approach aimed at measuring human behaviour and mental health, and thus an opportunity of detecting, assessing, and monitoring psychiatric disorders in a less costly and less burdensome way for the clinician.

The data collected on the smartphone are also referred to as digital biomarkers. These can be collected both passively through inbuilt sensors on the smartphone (physical activity and geolocation, social activity, text messages usage, phone usage, voice and speech pattern or wearables (sleep and activity), and actively via user engagement through self-monitored data/self-assessment data (mood, sleep, stress, medicine adherence).

By collecting this data between physician visits, clinicians can see fluctuations in patients’ mental states, providing a more holistic representation of the patient’s functioning over time. The data hereby offer the opportunity for clinicians to predict relevant outcomes in mood disorders and can thus serve as a tool of triage enabling to provide timely and preventative support to the individuals in critical need.

This approach, also known as digital-enabled psychiatry, has gained considerable interest and been extensively researched over the past decade to offer more people access to high-quality health and social care.

To learn more, visit our Research section here or watch a video on the opportunity of digital-enabled psychiatry from the Week of Health and Innovation conference 2021 in Denmark.

References:

https://wfmh.global/2021-world-mental-health-global-awareness-campaign-world-mental-health-day-theme/

https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240031029

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-mental-health-day/2021

https://www.who.int/key-messages

[1] https://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/EN_WHS2012_Full.pdf

[2] The size and burden of mental disorders and other disorders of the brain in Europe 2010. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2011

[3] OECD – 2015

[4] Economist Intelligence Unit – 2015

mHealth solutions can improve health outcomes in a cost-efficient way

mHealth solutions can improve health outcomes in a cost-efficient way

MHealth solutions can improve health outcomes in a cost-efficient and scalable way. They assist healthcare professionals with the management and documentation of medical records, help improve productivity and allow access to information.

These tools also help healthcare professionals to communicate findings and reduce error rates, not to mention the reduction of overall healthcare costs. Mobile solutions can also facilitate the treatment process, automate management systems and manage patient experience.

They use sophisticated data analytics and mobile technologies to help provide the best care possible, at a lower cost, anytime, anywhere. Cloud-based solutions are gaining prominence as data is stored on the internet for easy access, removing the need for storing the data locally. New mobile applications integrate patient data with geo-location information stored on the cloud.

Mobile apps facilitate better and easier health management through simple applications like exercise trackers, diet, and calorie-counting, among others.

Now more than ever, due to budget constraints and a shortage of qualified personnel, healthcare providers are looking for new ways to reduce administrative processes, improve productivity, and enable clinicians to spend more time on patient care rather than processing paperwork. With this in mind, organisations are looking into migrating from paper-based to paperless systems.

Mobile data-capturing solutions are beneficial for healthcare professionals and patients alike since they improve workflows and enable clinicians to spend more time seeing patients.

MHealth solutions enable healthcare professionals to access patient information more efficiently, ensuring patients receive better care, even if their primary clinician is not available.

Furthermore, communities are looking to form multi-sector collaborations that support their ability to better understand and tackle the social determinants of health. There is a growing need to build capacity beyond the healthcare sector and to find new ways to integrate data from multiple areas to improve community health.

MHealth solution help provide coordinated care

For people with complex health issues, such as those with a severe mental illness, the coordination of medical and community services can significantly improve their quality of life.

These individuals often require the most costly treatment and care. Therefore, many communities are aiming to link the available data between social services and clinical services to provide more comprehensive care.

Using aggregated data to improve community health

Linking aggregated data from different sources may reveal information about a particular population group, enabling healthcare providers to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the health factors in a specific community.

 Measuring health at a more detailed level allows decision-makers from the public healthcare system to recognise differences, plan more effective interventions, and monitor a particular group over time.

MHealth solutions enable the re-use of research health data to drive healthcare initiatives

Academic institutions and non-profit organisations continuously conduct research on specific patient-groups. Since these organisations collect and analyse health-and-behavioural-related data on vulnerable populations, this data could be re-used to address related issues and to drive new healthcare initiatives and policies.

 In addition to these points, data encryption ensures that all patient information is kept strictly private and protected at all times. International laws require that every organisation accessing patient information should adhere to strict confidentiality conditions.

Reference:

Mobile Health (mHealth) Market – Industry, Trends, Opportunities and Forecasts.

What Is the difference between a health app and an mhealth solution?

What Is the difference between a health app and an mhealth solution?

Over the past few years, mHealth solutions have begun to solve some of the problems that are ailing healthcare. MHealth is paving the way for better data management, doctor-patient communication, reduced hospital admissionsmedication adherence, and remote patient monitoring. 

MHealth solutions are improving outcomes in measurable, repeatable ways by connecting patients with their doctors.

In 2017 mHealth captured $23 billion in revenues, with an estimated growth rate of 35% annually over the next several years.

What is the difference between a health app and an mHealth solution?

Health apps are application programmes that offer health-related services for smartphones, tablets, PCs, and other communication devices.

The most popular categories of health/wellness apps are: 

  • Sports and fitness activity tracking
  • Diet and nutrition
  • Weight loss coaching
  • Medication tracking
  • Sleep cycle
  • Stress and relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Menstrual period tracking
  • Pregnancy
  • Hospital selection and appointment tracking

Health apps can provide valuable information to users. However, it may be hard to determine the accuracy of the information provided and may not be easy to share this data with the user’s doctor.

MHealth or mobile health refers to the practice of medicine and public health supported by mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablets, personal digital assistants and wireless infrastructure. It encompasses all applications of telecommunications and multimedia technologies for the delivery of healthcare and health information.

Why is mHealth used?

  • Provides education and awareness
  • Assists with diagnostic and treatment support
  • Enables remote data collection
  • Facilitates remote monitoring
  • Enables telemedicine
  • Supports chronic disease management
  • Support medication compliance

Numerous mHealth initiatives across the world have demonstrated the efficacy of using mobile devices to deliver better care in a cost-effective manner.

Many mHealth solutions offer different types of information sharing, such as data collection through patient self-assessments, electronic questionnaires, and sensor data. They can also offer emergency action plans and an encrypted messaging system that allows direct communication with the clinic.

Besides, many mHealth solutions are considered certified medical devices that have a proven record of helping healthcare professionals in the monitoring and treatment of their patients.

Both, health apps and mHealth solutions can both be used on-the-go. However, the main difference is that health apps are for consumers-only and mHealth solutions improve the collaboration between patients and healthcare professionals.

References:

mHealth (Mobile Healthcare) Ecosystem Market: 2017-2030 – $23 Billion Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies & Forecasts.

Health apps definition.

What is mHealth?

 

Municipality of Ikast-Brande strengthens its addiction services with Monsenso

Municipality of Ikast-Brande strengthens its addiction services with Monsenso

Copenhagen, Denmark – 17 January 2019. Monsenso, a Danish healthtech company focused on mobile health solutions for mental health, is proud to announce our newest collaboration with the Center for Rusmiddelbehandling in the municipality of Ikast-Brande. The aim of the pilot project is to examine how the Monsenso mhealth solution can be used as an integrated part of the addiction treatment, across both alcohol and substance misuse.

The project, which will be running from January 2019 to January 2020, will primarily involve people in outpatient treatment. This is the first step in implementing the solution more broadly throughout the center’s services, widening the scope and population that they can reach, and ultimately benefitting the people living in the municipality.

The aim of the project is to evaluate the clinical and financial benefits of using the Monsenso Solution. This is relevant for clients currently receiving treatment and for clients who have completed their treatment and are part of the post-treatment service, where it is crucial not to fall back into old and undesired habits.

With the help of the Monsenso solution and the data that are being reported directly by the client, the clinician will be able to personalise the treatment to fit each client’s needs, as they have knowledge of the client’s issues over time. It also allows for clinicians to be more proactive and reach out to clients at the time they need help in order to avoid potential relapses.

Thomas Lethenborg, CEO of Monsenso ApS, says: “The Center for Rusmiddelbehandling in Ikast-Brande strives to enhance the quality of their services by implementing the newest technology. Addiction services are an interesting growth area for Monsenso, and we are convinced that implementing our solution will be beneficial to both clients and clinicians. Moreover, the collected data are opening up a number of exciting and innovative opportunities relating to addiction treatment.”

Mette Christensen, the Head of the Center for Rusmiddelbehandling, says: “We are implementing this new technology in our addiction services to improve the quality of the treatment we can provide. At the same time, we get to be more pro-active and understand our clients better, which will profit both them and the entire municipality. The clinicians are motivated to try a different working method, so we look forward to getting started”.

Click here to read the press release in Danish.


About Center for Rusmiddelbehandling
Center for Rusmiddelbehandling (CFR) is Ikast-Brande municipality’s offer of counselling, treatment and prevention of alcohol and substance misuse. The center currently has 20 employees with different educational backgrounds, which provides a wide range of competences. CFR offers both outpatient alcohol and substance treatment, day treatment and substitution therapy.
For more information visit www.cfr.ikast-brande.dk.

About Monsenso
Monsenso is an innovative technology company offering a mHealth solution that optimises the treatment of mental disorders. Our mission is to help individuals, carers, caregivers and researchers to overcome the burden of mental illness. The solution provides a detailed overview of an individual’s mental health through self-monitoring and collection of behavioural data and supports the individual by connecting them to carers and clinicians to facilitate self-care, informal and formal care. Our team is committed to developing extensive solutions that effortlessly fit into the lives of the individuals and support the treatment resulting in a better mental health.
For more information visit www.monsenso.com.

For further information about Monsenso contact:
Thomas Lethenborg
CEO
Monsenso
+45 21298827
Lethenborg@monsenso.com

Can mHealth technology be used to save costs ?

Can mHealth technology be used to save costs ?

According to an article published on Harvard Business Review, digital health tools have the potential to provide effective, low-cost ways to prevent and treat chronic illnesses. The article states that these technology-based solutions that have a clinical impact on disease are comparable to the effectiveness of a drug, and they use consumer-grade technology such as mobile devices and big data analytics that can be deployed in real-time and at scale, which is critical for the management of chronic diseases.

From the chronic diseases, mental illnesses account for five of the ten leading causes of disability worldwide [1]. Therefore, prevention as well as the the early identification and treatment of mental illness represents a high priority since it promotes recovery, independence, self-sufficiency, as well as facilitating social activities and employment opportunities [2].

In fact, in the UK alone, depression and anxiety accounted for 11.7 million lost working days last year [3].  Moreover, according to the American Medical Association, stress accounts for 60% of all human illness and disease [4], which means that clinically-tested health apps can help government authorities, corporations and insurance companies reduce their costs by monitoring individuals remotely and intervening at an early stage.

Nowadays, the majority of large employers that offer health benefits also offer a wellness programme in an effort to promote employee health and productivity as well as to reduce health-related costs.

We live in an era where certified and clinically-tested health apps, or mobile health solutions (as they are widely known), are readily available, or are being developed for most chronic diseases.

Most of these digital tools are extremely easy to use, and can be obtained by downloading an application from iOS or Google Play, signing-up, and sharing your information with a coach. The clear advantages of this technology are scalability and low-cost, since an effective health app bundled up with a telehealth can provide affordable support to either 50 or 5 million users.

The Monsenso mHealth solution can be used by insurance companies and large corporations to reduce costs by offering a preventive mental wellness programme. Individuals can use the Monsenso smartphone app to enter their daily levels of stress, anxiety, irritability, physical activity and number of hours they slept. This information is gathered and stored electronically so it can be accessed by a healthcare professional anytime, anywhere. However, the coach only needs to take action when the web portal indicates that certain individuals present any triggers or warning signs. For example, the coach will be notified when anyone in the system indicates a high level of stress, anxiety and irritability for more than five consecutive days or when someone sleeps less than six hours for more than three consecutive days. These two actions would be considered indicators that the individual needs to be contacted for a “wellness check” and implement the necessary measures to prevent the person from going on stress-leave or from becoming affected by other physical conditions such as heart disease.

References:

[1] Prevention of Mental Disorders. Effective Interventions and policy options. World Health Organisation in collaboration with the Prevention Research Centre of the Universities of Nimegen and Maastricht. http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/prevention_of_mental_disorders_sr.pdf

[2] Early intervention and recovery for young people with early psychosis: consensus statement. J. Bertolote and P. McGorry. British Journal of Psychiatry (2005). http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/bjprcpsych/187/48/s116.full.pdf

[3] Stress in the City: ‘At first, I thought my depression was a heart attack’. The Telegraph. Peter Stanford. (2017, January 7)
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/health/stress-city-first-thought-depression-heart-attack/

[4] How Stress Affects the Body (INFOGRAPHIC). Huffington Post. (2013, January 10)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heartmath-llc/how-stress-affects-the-body_b_2422522.html

Simple Digital Technologies Can Reduce Health Care Costs.
Harvard Business Review. Alexander L. Fogel, Joseph C. Kvedar. (2016, November 14).
https://hbr.org/2016/11/simple-digital-technologies-can-reduce-health-care-costs