Monsenso signs contract with the Norwegian University of Science & Technology

Monsenso signs contract with the Norwegian University of Science & Technology

Monsenso has signed a contract with the Norwegian University of Science & Technology to use Monsenso’s digital health solution to collect sensor data in a research project aiming at improving relapse prevention with substance use disorders.

The research study aims to improve the prediction of relapse using mobile sensing to identify a digital phenotype approach to relapse prevention. The research project is led by Anders Lauvsnes, Department of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, at the Norwegian University of Science & Technology and covers up to 100 research participants with substance use disorders.

Mobile sensing, the use of passive data generated by personal electronic devices such as smartphones and wearables to measure human functioning, has generated considerable research interest over the past years. Particularly in the field of mental health, where the collection of continuous and objective data can lead to clinically useful biomarkers to support the prevention, early intervention, and treatment of a variety of conditions, including addiction.

“Addiction and substance use disorders are major health challenges worldwide, and relapse is a core component of addictive disorders. The dynamics surrounding relapse, and particularly the immediate period leading up to it, are only partially understood, due in large part to the difficulty of collecting reliable and sufficient data from this narrow period,” says Anders Lauvsnes. “Mobile sensing offers the opportunity to identify predictive patterns of relapse by accurately mapping behaviour. Together with data on symptoms worsening, it can help us identify a digital phenotype for relapse prevention”.

The Monsenso digital solution will be used to remotely monitor study participants, collecting sensor data from mobile phones along with sensor data from wearables (Whitings). After completion of the data collection, the data will be analysed along with neurocognitive measures using machine learning to predict imminent relapse to substance use and describe individual and temporal variability in risk.

“We are very excited to contribute to this project of creating a digital phenotype to help reduce relapse,” said Thomas Lethenborg, CEO of Monsenso. “Mobile sensing does indeed offer a data-driven method to improve condition monitoring for actionable outcomes, such as early signs of relapse, thereby ensuring the right individuals receive the right treatment at the right time”.

About Monsenso digital health solution:
The Monsenso solution is a clinically validated, CE Class I Marked digital solution classified as a Medical Device, consisting of a smartphone app for patients and a clinical web portal for healthcare providers that are widely used in the prevention and treatment of common behavioural disorders such as depression and anxiety. It can also be configured to prevent and treat severe mental illnesses such as depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, PTSD, and schizophrenia. It is currently being used by over 1,000 patients across the globe and is highly valued by patients and healthcare providers.

For additional information contact:
Bettina van Wylich-Muxoll
Chief Marketing Officer
marketing@monsenso.com
Monsenso

Identifying children’s mental health issues with mHealth technology

Identifying children’s mental health issues with mHealth technology

The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) released a Report on Mental Health and Well-being for children titled “Healthy Young Minds. Transforming the mental health of children.” The information included on this blog post is taken from the report. 

The report revealed that half of all mental health problems emerge before individuals reach 18 years old. However, even in developed countries, only 25% receive any specialised treatment. Mental health problems place massive costs on society, since the total cost of mental illness is 3.5 of GDP in Europe.  Besides causing direct health care costs, mental illness in youths also causes educational failure, adolescent crime, teenage pregnancy.

Early intervention is fundamental. Parents, doctors and teachers need to become more open and informed, since mental illness is a common part of life. Schools need to prioritise children’s well-being and “life skills” should be added to the teaching curricula alongside mathematics and literature.

It is estimated that 31% of the world’s population is aged under 18, and 10% of them (which is equivalent to 220 million children) suffer from mental illness as it is illustrated in Figure 1. 

The costs of mental illness in children are quite considerable. Children with conduct disorder are four times more likely to commit a crime, take drugs, become teenage parents, depend on welfare, and attempt suicide, as it is illustrated in Table 1.

Figure-11

The costs of mental illness in children are quite considerable. Children with conduct disorder are four times more likely to commit a crime, take drugs, become teenage parents, depend on welfare, and attempt suicide, as it is illustrated in Table 1.

Table-11

The report estimated that in the UK alone, these children may cost in criminal justice, an amount equal to three years’ average wages.

These figures are severe enough by themselves. However, on top of that, at least 50% of the children who experience mental illness during their early years, will suffer from mental illness as an adult. [7] Their lives are more likely to be impoverished and unhappy, and they are much more likely to commit suicide.

The report mentions that these statistics shouldn’t be so high. Nowadays, there are multiple and effective treatments available for children suffering from mental illness. Besides, there is also an enormous opportunity in schools and communities to make significant changes that can reduce the likelihood of the problem in the first place.

Additionally, technology, and mobile health solutions are a huge advantage! Smartphone applications can contribute to monitor and train youths about mental health.

The WISH report encourages local communities and countries to focus on 10 Action Plans to improve the mental health of children around the world.

  • Community action: Every local community should implement a child well-being strategy. This plan should include an assessment of the needs of children and families; and the role of healthcare organisations, schools, and non-government organisations.
  • Parity of esteem: Mental health care for children and their parents should be widely available.
  • Universality: Health professionals should be trained to identify mental health problems in children, perinatal depression in mothers, and they should also be trained to treat these issues.
  • Professionals: Countries should train more professionals in evidence-based treatments, especially psychological therapy.
  • Well-being in Schools: The well-being of students should be the priority of every school, including the implementation of a Well-being Code of Conduct to which all teachers, parents, and students must adhere to.
  • Measurement: Schools should evaluate all student’s well-being on a continuous basis.
  • Add life-skills to the teaching curriculum: Schools should use evidence-based methods to provide explicit instruction in life throughout school life, especially in the early years.
  • Teacher Training: All teachers should be trained to notice and promote well-being and mental health.
  • Use of smartphone technology: Implement a smartphone-based program to promote mental health and well-being of the children.
  • The Sustainable development goals: The sustainable development goals should include physical and mental health.


The Monsenso mHealth solution can help facilitate the achievement six of the ten points included in the WISH Action Plan.

  • Use of smartphone technology and well-being at schools – The Monsenso smartphone app can help adolescents express any negative feelings they may be experiencing. This information can help care givers identify problems such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, ADHD or even more severe diagnosis such as bipolar disorder or borderline.
  • Measurement – With help from the Monsenso mHealth platform, school personnel can identify if some students present any Triggers or Early Warning signs. Once symptoms are identified in a group of students, care givers can monitor this group closely to ensure they are receiving the support and attention they need.
  • Teacher training – The Monsenso web portal is so easy to use that care givers do not require any special training to use the system. However, since they are not trained as mental healthcare specialists, they will need some training to help them interpret the information provided through the self-assessments.
  • Parity of esteem – In most countries, there is a lack of resources and the waiting time to schedule an appointment with a mental healthcare specialist can be up to a year. The Monsenso mHealth solution can help school personnel identify the students who are experiencing symptoms of mental illness. Once a student has been monitored for a determined period and the symptoms continue, school personnel can recommend the family to seek professional help.
  • Add life-skills to the teaching curriculum – Since all students would be required to fill out the daily self-assessments to evaluate and monitor their mental health well-being, the class dialogue can be facilitated by the information on the system. Teachers can provide students with real, anonymous examples of a person experiencing symptoms. Additionally, students could be encouraged to talk to a school counsellor if they experience any of the symptoms discussed in class. Students could also be taught how to act if they notice any symptoms on their peers.

If you are interested in running a pilot with the Monsenso mHealth solution at your school, please contact us.

Reference:

Healthy Young Minds. Transforming the mental health of children. Report of the WISH Mental Health and Well-being in Children Forum 2015