Digital health as a support tool for waiting lists in mental health services

Digital health as a support tool for waiting lists in mental health services

The need for mental health support is growing in Europe, and waiting lists are becoming longer as mental health services struggle to meet the demand. But are additional human resources really the answer to these problems, or do we maybe need to search for new solutions?

In Denmark, over 500.000 Danish citizens currently live with one or multiple mental health disorders [1] and approximately half of the Danish population will suffer from a mental illness at least once in their lifetime [2]. 

The need for mental health support is thus at an all-time high. However, the average waiting time to see a psychologist in Denmark is around 16 weeks, and in many cases, patients easily wait up to 20 weeks before their first treatment [3]. 

New studies have found that every 10th person needing psychological support in Denmark decides not to seek help due to the long waiting lists. Amongst young people, this number is even higher: In the last three years, every 5th young person who needed psychological treatment decided not to seek help due to long waiting times [4].

In the UK, waiting times for psychological help are almost equally as long as in Denmark. According to research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, almost a quarter (23%) of adults suffering from mental illness in the UK face waiting times of over 12 weeks before receiving treatment. Recently, it has thus been reported that individuals with mental illness waiting for treatment increasingly turn to the A&E or even dial 999 in desperate need of help [5].

Research has found waiting lists in mental health services to be “associated with negative psychological and physiological responses such as anxiety and stress”, which usually worsen the longer an individual suffering from mental illness needs to wait for treatment [6]. 

The lack of resources in mental health services is hence a problem that needs to be tackled urgently [2] – but it is unlikely that enough healthcare professionals can be hired in the short term to address this problem. 

This is where digital technologies can play an important role in supporting people waiting for mental health treatment. Digital health solutions for mental health, for instance, offer the potential to screen individuals while they are still on the waiting list. Additionally, digital health solutions can provide individuals with useful tools and psychoeducational material to better manage their mental health while they are waiting to receive care. 

Everyone deserves access to mental healthcare. The integration of digital solutions in healthcare bears huge potential, and it needs to happen timely. There is never a better time to act.
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About Monsenso
Monsenso is an innovative technology company offering a digital health solution used for decentralised trials, remote patient monitoring and treatment support. Our mission is to contribute to improved health for more people at lower costs by supporting treatment digitally and leveraging patient-reported outcomes data. Our solution helps optimise the treatment and gives a detailed overview of an individual’s health through the collection of outcome, adherence, and behavioural data. It connects individuals, carers, and health care providers to enable personalised treatment, remote care, and early intervention. We collaborate with health and social care, pharmaceuticals, and leading researcher worldwide in our endevaours to deliver solutions that fit into the life of patients and health care professionals. To learn more visit  www.monsenso.com.

References:
[1] EN AF OS (n.d.). About EN AF OS. Sundhedsstyrelsen.
http://www.en-af-os.dk/da/English/About-us#:~:text=Statistically%2C%201%20in%205%20Danes,they%20will%20get%20well%20again.

[2] Sundhedsstyrelsen (2022). Fagligt oplæg til en 10-årsplan.
https://www.sst.dk/da/Udgivelser/2022/Fagligt-oplaeg-til-en-10-aarsplan

[3] Kofoed et al. (2022). Millioner til psykologhjælp forbliver ubrugte trods rekordlange ventetider. DR.
https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/politik/kommunalvalg/millioner-til-psykologhjaelp-forbliver-ubrugte-trods-rekordlange

[4] Gjensidige Forsikring (2022). Lang ventetid får mange til at droppe besøg hos læge, tandlæge og psykolog. Ritzau.
https://via.ritzau.dk/pressemeddelelse/lang-ventetid-far-mange-til-at-droppe-besog-hos-laege-tandlaege-og-psykolog?publisherId=9709319&releaseId=13657774

[5] Gregory, A. (2022). Patients turning to A&E as wait times for NHS mental health treatment spiral. The Guardian.
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/oct/10/nhs-mental-health-patients-wait-times

[6] Punton, G., Dodd, A.L. & McNeill, A. (2022). ‘You’re on the waiting list’: An interpretive phenomenological analysis of young adults’ experiences of waiting lists within mental health services in the UK. PLoS ONE, 17(3).
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0265542​​

The Momentum Trial: How digital tools can support patient-centered care & shared decision-making

The Momentum Trial: How digital tools can support patient-centered care & shared decision-making

In the delivery of mental health services, shared decision-making (SDM) is increasingly becoming more important [1]. SDM can be defined as a collaborative process between patient and health care provider, enabling joint treatment decisions and patient-centered care [2]. Research suggests that in mental healthcare, SDM could “contribute to recovery-oriented care by inviting the patient to have more control and be more involved in their treatment decisions” [2]. 

However, many mental health care providers are still reluctant to incorporate SDM into their treatment offers, as they believe it to be unfit for individuals suffering from severe mental illness, as well as to be time-consuming and thus a burden [3,4]. To overcome these challenges of incorporating SDM into daily practices, healthcare professionals have been encouraged to utilize “tools to support the SDM process” [2]. 

Increased focus has thus been placed on how digital interventions could support SDM in mental healthcare [2]. The Momentum Trial is a study investigating how using a smartphone app as a support tool could help “individuals suffering from schizophrenia-spectrum disorders in an outpatient treatment setting” [5]. 

During the trial, 194 participants were randomized either to receive “specialized early intervention treatment with the Momentum app” (intervention group) or to receive regular treatment without a smartphone app (control group) [5]. The Monsenso digital health solution, consisting of a patient app and a clinical web portal, was used for the intervention group. The Monsenso solution provided tools such as psychoeducational material, daily self-assessments, and action plans in the patient app, as well as patient insights in the clinical web portal [2].

As a primary outcome, it was investigated whether the individuals from the two groups would show a difference in self-perceived patient activation. Patient activation can play an important role in successful SDM processes, as patients who are more active and engaged in their treatment “feel confident when collaborating with their provider, and have the knowledge and skills to manage their condition” [2]. 

As secondary outcomes, it was investigated whether the individuals from the two different groups would show a difference in the self-perceived feeling of hope and optimism, self-efficacy, confidence in communicating with their provider, therapeutic alliance between the patient and provider, feeling prepared to make a treatment decision, and satisfaction with treatment [2]. 

Results were evaluated at baseline, as well as 3 and 6 months post-baseline. Promisingly, the Momentum Trial showed a significant effect of a digital SDM tool on the subjective level of patient activation, confidence in communicating with one’s provider, and feeling prepared for decision-making at the postintervention time point [2]. 

Though no statistically significant effects could be found related to the digital SDM intervention’s effect on working alliance, treatment satisfaction, clinical outcomes, and hope, the results from the Momentum Trial “confirm [the] hypothesis that a digital SDM tool may promote patient activation by supporting the collaborative process between patients and their providers” [2]

Monsenso CEO Thomas Lethenborg says: “The Momentum Trial shows how promising digital tools are in supporting shared decision-making. At Monsenso, we are proud to have been involved in this research project, and look forward to empowering individuals and clinicians even more on the treatment pathway”.
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About Monsenso
Monsenso is an innovative technology company offering a digital health solution used for decentralised trials, remote patient monitoring and treatment support. Our mission is to contribute to improved health for more people at lower costs by supporting treatment digitally and leveraging patient-reported outcomes data. Our solution helps optimise the treatment and gives a detailed overview of an individual’s health through the collection of outcome, adherence, and behavioural data. It connects individuals, carers, and health care providers to enable personalised treatment, remote care, and early intervention. We collaborate with health and social care, pharmaceuticals, and leading researcher worldwide in our endevaours to deliver solutions that fit into the life of patients and health care professionals. To learn more visit  www.monsenso.com

References:
[1] Alguera-Lara, V., Dowsey, M., Ride, J., Kinder, S. & Castle, D. (2017). Shared decision making in mental health: the importance for current clinical practice. Australas Psychiatry, 25(6), 578-582. 

[2] Vitger, T., Hjorthøj, C., Austin, S.F., Petersen, L., Tønder, E.S., Nordentoft, M. & Korsbek, L. (2022). A Smartphone App to Promote Patient Activation and Support Shared Decision-making in People With a Diagnosis of Schizophrenia in Outpatient Treatment Settings (Momentum Trial): Randomized Controlled Assessor-Blinded Trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 24(10), e40292.
https://www.jmir.org/2022/10/e40292

[3] Hamann, J. & Heres, S. (2014). Adapting shared decision making for individuals with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 65(12), 1483-1486.
https://ps.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ps.201400307

[4] Waldemar, A.K., Esbensen, B.A., Korsbek, L., Petersen, L. & Arnfred, S (2019). Recovery-oriented practice: participant observations of the interactions between patients and health professionals in mental health inpatient settings. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28(1), 318-329. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/inm.12537

[5] Korsbek, L. (n.d.). The Momentum Trial: The efficacy of using a smartphone application to support shared decision making for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia in an outpatient treatment setting. Open Patient data Explorative Network.
https://open.rsyd.dk/OpenProjects/openProject.jsp?openNo=451&lang=da

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DIPNOT: A Research Project to Improve Psychotherapeutic Treatment for People with Depression

DIPNOT: A Research Project to Improve Psychotherapeutic Treatment for People with Depression

Monsenso is proud to be part of the Development of an Intervention for Persistent Not On Track (DIPNOT) research project that aims to improve psychotherapeutic treatment offered to people with depression in psychiatry.

Though often said to be one of the “happiest countries on earth”, depression is no rare illness in Denmark. Did you know, that approximately 15-25% of all females and 7-12% of all males living in Denmark experience depression at least once in their life? [1].

After diagnosis, patients with depression are often offered group-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in outpatient psychiatry in Denmark [2]. However, around 50% of depressed patients participating in group-based CBT do not actually feel their symptoms improving, or even worsening during the therapy [2].

The DIPNOT research project, which was started in 2021 and continues until 2024, hence aims to design an intervention for patients with depression who are not improving during the course of their therapy. The idea is to monitor patients and the progression of their symptoms via a digital health application (e.g., using clinical questionnaires) and identify the patients who are not doing well during the therapy [2].

The Monsenso digital health solution is currently being used for this purpose in the DIPNOT project conducted by ph.d. student Jasmin Rejaye Gryesten. It facilitates the identification of worsening depressive symptoms and offers various possibilities for clinicians to provide their patients with digital tools that can help their recoveries – such as exercises and psychoeducational content.

At Monsenso, we are proud to be part of this exciting journey toward offering better mental health to more people by being able to cater to patients’ needs more individually.

If you want to learn more about the DIPNOT project, watch this video!
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About Monsenso
Monsenso is an innovative technology company offering a digital health solution used for decentralised trials, remote patient monitoring and treatment support. Our mission is to contribute to improved health for more people at lower costs by supporting treatment digitally and leveraging patient-reported outcomes data. Our solution helps optimise the treatment and gives a detailed overview of an individual’s health through the collection of outcome, adherence and behavioural data. It connects individuals, carers and health care providers to enable personalised treatment, remote care and early intervention. We collaborate with health and social care, pharmaceuticals and leading researcher worldwide in our endevaours to deliver solutions that fit into the life of patients and health care professionals. To learn more visit  www.monsenso.com

References:
[1] Kessing, L.V. (2021). ​​Depression, forekomst. Sundhed.dk.
https://www.sundhed.dk/borger/patienthaandbogen/psyke/sygdomme/depression/depression-forekomst/

[2] DIPNOT (n.d.). Development of an Intervention for Persistent Not On Track.
https://www.dipnot.dk

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Research project HedaX aims to develop a new platform to securely handle health data

Research project HedaX aims to develop a new platform to securely handle health data

Copenhagen Demark – 22 June 2020. The Research Project HedaX received EUR 16 million from the Danish Innovation Fund to develop a digital platform that can securely collect and exchange health data. This tool will provide researchers with the basis to offer better, personalised medicine.

In the current world situation, the proliferation of a new virus has had fatal consequences for society. However, the spread of infection can be curbed by collecting and exchanging data; this data exchange needs to take place without compromising an individual’s privacy. The Research Project HedaX aims to develop a digital solution that collects and exchanges personal health data anonymously and securely.

 

THE DANISH RESEARCH PROJECT HEDAX HAS A SOLUTION

The Research Project HedaX project will initially test the solution in two pilot projects that involve 1,000 cancer patients and 1,000 people with bipolar disorder. The goal is to use this new health data to gain insight into how the treatment is helping patients, and to demonstrate that sharing personal health data can help develop better-personalised care.

The Research Project HedaX involves ten public and private partners that will work together to develop a platform that ensures health data is securely collected and exchanged between individuals, healthcare professionals, and researchers.

The data collected by the solution would include an individual’s medical history, medication compliance, and personal sensor data, which is the data collected by most fitness apps.

The analysis of this data should provide a basis for better and cheaper treatment in the form of personalised medicine.  The platform should also be used to monitor the spread of an infection confidentially, so that it is possible to identify where the infected individuals are located, without knowing who they are.

The newly developed platform should include the latest and most secure data encryption from various sources, such as the individual’s mobile phone, to the Social Security Registry and government’s databases.

Individuals should be able to get an overview and insight into the data that is being used, the entity using the data, and its purpose.

The Monsenso mHealth solution will be used to collect objective and subjective data from 1,000 individuals with bipolar disorder. The data will be anonymised and incorporated to the Registry data and EMR data to provide a new foundation for deep phenotyping, personalised medicine and overall understanding of real-life drug effectiveness.

“During the past five years, the Monsenso mHealth solution has been used in different research projects around the world to securely collect and share data between individuals with a mental illness and their healthcare professional. The scope of the project is rather familiar to us, and we are looking forward to participating in this project and helping individuals maintain their privacy while their data is safely collected and used to improve future treatments,” says Thomas Lethenborg, CEO of Monsenso.

 

The HedaX partners:

Secata is a pioneer in the commercial application of advanced encryption for data sharing. Their technology is based on more than 20 years of groundbreaking research in secure multiparty computation.

The Data for Good Foundation is a newly established foundation with non-profit purposes, based on GDPR legislation, that helps individuals share and retain control over their data.

DataFair is an entrepreneurial company with a particular focus on data-driven innovation and personalised medicine based on Denmark’s reliable health data.

The Alexandra Institute works with applied research in the field of digitisation and has helped develop encryption technology within the health sector.

The Danish Cancer Society is Denmark’s largest patient organisation.

Lundbeck is a Danish pharmaceutical company working on the development of pharmaceuticals within psychiatry and neurology.

Monsenso is a Danish company that develops mobile health solutions that help individuals collect information on their mobile phone to use it for prevention and treatment.

The Danish Capital Healthcare Region (Region H) offers Monsenso’s solution to patients within psychiatry.

DPO Management advises on secure and confidential sharing of data with a focus on GDPR rules.

Clinical Epidemiological Department at Aarhus University works with analysis of health data.

To read the Danish version, click here. 

For additional information contact:

Jennifer Highland
Marketing Consultant
marketing@monsenso.com
Monsenso