We were delighted to exhibit at the UK e-Health week on the 19 and 20th of April which resulted in many interesting discussions on men’s health, integrated mental health care and behavioural change as cornerstone to revolutionise mental health care. Great to see such devotion to transform care. The days offered a range of inspirational talks which we really enjoyed - and we would like to take this opportunity to share some of the memorable highlights with you:
Keynote Lord Victor Adebowale
Victor Adebowale held the closing talk during the first day of UK e-Health week. He emphasised on the need to think carefully about the ways in which we use digital tools. He argued that digital tools needs to engage as well as enrich human connection, and we couldn't agree more!
"Tech which removed the relationship with the patient is not what is needed." Lord Victor Adebowale #EHWK16— Charlotte Hitchcock (@gremlin2c) 19 April 2016
In mental health, clear links have been established between strong therapist-patient relationships and successful therapeutic outcomes. To maintain this important aspect of patients' recovery, we've brought this to the core of our online platform. Our seamless care pathways are flexible, allowing therapists to personalise treatment by setting up unique pathways for patients. Throughout their online journey, patients can bring more of themselves through interactive exercises. As they share their experience, therapists can create a strong therapeutic alliance. We've noticed that these opportunities to make their treatment more personal, is what patients respond best to. They usually feel that, despite not being in the same geographical location, contact is still meaningful.
Victor Adebowale finished his talk with the inspirational phrase: Do not let me down! Or let your children down!
George Freeman MP: empowering patients
George talked about the importance of empowering patients to be active healthcare citizens. He argued that the agenda has to shift from digitalising at the back office to the front-line where individuals can take ownership of that change. We believe that patients’ sense of empowerment is a very important building block in mental health care. With ehealth, patients can access their treatment 24/7. By being able to work independently outside of traditional treatment sessions, patients can start to feel that they are responsible for the changes in their lives. That internal motivation is very valuable, as it often is linked to longer lasting treatment effects.
Furthermore, George Freeman revealed that HSCIC will be changing their name to NHS Digital. Andy Williams, Chief Executive of HSCIC, explained that the name change reflects the wishes of The Secretary of State for Health to clarify HSCIC role as the national information and technology partner for the health and care system.
It will help us fulfill our purpose to bring about a digital revolution in the provision of health and care. Trading under the NHS name will help us generate awareness, understanding and recognition for what we do and to benefit from the confidence and trust of the public as we do it.
Patients at the heart of technological change
One of the most important remarks made at the closing discussion panel on the UK e-health week came from a dedicated patient and cancer survivor. She stressed the importance of patients being at the heart of future NHS decisions. We were happy to see that patients were attending UK e-Health week as we too feel that innovation starts with listening to the needs of the end-user of the care system. At Minddistrict, we're regularly involving patients when developing or improving our platform and care tools. As a result, we ensure the effectiveness of our ehealth provision.
Bouncing back without stigma
Despite that 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem, the stigma and discrimination attached to it is still a big problem. Some individuals will not seek the help they need because they don’t want to deal with the social judgement that may come with it.
At Minddistrict, we feel that mental health should be thought about just like any other ailment. Hence, we want to change the public attitude towards mental health. So we had a little campaign at UK e-Health week: ‘Bouncing back without stigma’
What we feel extra passionate about is breaking the stigma that men and other marginalised groups might experience. For instance, 4 out of 5 suicides are committed by men, making it the biggest killer of men under 35. One really good initiative that encourages men to come forward and talk about their mental health is Men's Health Week . Men's Health Week will take place on the 13th-19th of June, and this year's theme is "beat stress". Get involved! We are.