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Transforming mental healthcare through digital technology

A national symposium will unveil how the face of mental healthcare is being transformed by technology.

MindTech – a new National Institute for Health Research Healthcare Technology Co-operative (NIHR HTC) – is officially being launched at a symposium on Monday 11 November 2013 at the Royal College of Physicians, London, titled Technological Innovations in Mental Health 2013: apps, digital technologies and e-mental health.

MindTech is based at the Institute of Mental Health, a partnership between The University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The institute is the only NIHR HTC in the country focused on mental health and brings together patients, clinicians, researchers and industry to develop and test a range of new technologies, including exploiting 'big data' and interfacing to biosensors that provide enhanced self-management, objective and diagnostic and real-time monitoring solutions to unmet mental health needs.

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 launch event for MindTech will showcase some of the most exciting and innovative approaches in mental health care ever developed. 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."

The symposium is supported by the NIHR, Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, Medilink UK, and Knowledge Transfer Networks for HealthTech and Medicines, Creative Industries and ICT.

The full-day event has a packed agenda of presentations and discussions, including keynote speakers Dr Geraldine Strathdee, National Clinical Director of Mental Health, NHS England, Dr Louise Wood, Deputy Director/Head of NHS Research Infrastructure and Growth, Department of Health, and Cynthia Joyce, Chief Executive of MQ Transforming Mental Health.

Key innovations that will be presented include: the diagnosis and monitoring depression through automated facial and voice analysis of affect; home and mobile ambient 'sensing' technology to pick up early warning signs of illness; psychological therapy delivered via the internet or with avatars; mobile and smartphone apps that allow patients to monitor their condition, adjust treatment and liaise remotely with their clinician; assessment and therapy through 'serious gaming' and computerised assessment and monitoring in ADHD.

The full programme and booking form can be found at: