MyHealthE: Digital innovation in child and adolescent mental health

Every day, clinicians in mental health services make critical decisions about patient care, such as which type of medication or psychosocial treatment to offer.

However, only a small number of these clinical decisions for children and people with neurodevelopmental disorders are based on high quality evidence because research studies are typically too small. We are addressing this by using the digital revolution to improve our ability to make research more efficient and thus to bring greater benefits.  

Data from smartphones and wearables

We can now integrate NHS information systems with the devices that our patients tell us they want to use daily such as smartphones and wearable devices like Fitbits. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre has built MyHealthE, a digital service which integrates data from online patient-reported outcome measures (PROM) with NHS electronic records, to inform clinical decision making. We worked with our patients and their families to trial MyHealthE in our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and found a 12-fold increase in PROM completion.

This means that when a new treatment is started we have a far better idea whether it is having the desired effect.

Recruitment to mental health digital therapy trials

MyHealthE has now been adapted for efficient recruitment to mental health digital therapy trials. For example, NIHR has funded myHealthE to trial rapid access to a parenting app (STEPS) for families to quickly access effective treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). MyHealthE has been developed to work across different health and social care providers. We already have agreements, with 12 NHS and local authority sites across the north and south of the UK with over 1300 families enrolled, increasing by 50 families per week.

MyHealthE will underpin our ambition to integrate new informatics and digital tools to scale-up assessment, intervention and monitoring within our clinics, and to enrich our research programmes. For example, we will quickly assess which online mental health self-management resources or medicines are most useful.  We will work with NIHR Intellectual Property to commercialise and disseminate this technology.  This is a virtuous cycle: our digital tools will directly improve patient experience and clinical care, will also lead to more efficient and larger research studies, and these will in turn lead to better treatments.

 

IMPACT AREAS:

Developing Resources for Research | Industry Collaboration | Data and Analytics to Drive Healthcare | Improving Access and Uptake