The Government plans to give six mental health trusts £10m each to develop digital technology in mental health services, with £3m planned to be spent on piloting digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) apps. Recent evidence suggests that plans to increase remote therapy are underway.
The number of appointments conducted remotely in England rose from 5,738 to 49,475 between 2012-13 and 2015-16, presenting what is almost a nine-fold increase. This may well suggest that NHS commissioners are looking to alternatives from the traditional face-to-face therapies.
Luke Dunn, Marketing Manager at Camino Healthcare had this to say:
“It remains a concern that those with complex problems and in need of care might not receive the personal treatment needed if we become dependent on digital resources. Having said that, tech companies are providing some innovative solutions to combat mental health problems and improve wellbeing. In a society that is becoming increasingly technology savvy, this could have positive outcomes if utilised correctly.
“With one in four people in the UK effected by a mental health problems every year, the initiative might prove to be a useful facility for those who would not ordinarily seek help or feel that they are unable to do so. As technology improves it’s an exciting time to see what is on the horizon.”
The use of virtual technology is another digital avenue being explored in healthcare and is currently undergoing clinical trials. There are optimisms that this could one day assist with the treatment of anxiety, post-traumatic syndromes, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and addictions like smoking and alcoholism.
Jotham Kasinganeti, Clinical Operations Manager at Camino Healthcare said:
“Face-to-face therapy cannot be replaced, a discussion with patients is needed to decide which treatments are the most suitable, personal interaction is essential in therapy.”
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