Irish founded tech company SilverCloud Health has signed a national partnership agreement with the Health Service Executive (HSE) to provide online mental health services to patients across the country.
The company, which administers cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programmes through its digital mental health platform, said the agreement will help remove barriers to mental health services access by allowing patients access to its programmes “confidentially” from their own home.
SilverCloud, which has offices in Dublin and Boston, was acquired last year by Amwell, a telehealth platform in the United States with more than 80 million customers.
The HSE rolled out a pilot version of the company’s digital CBT programme in 2021, which received more than 10,000 referrals from GPs and primary care psychotherapists. It said in a statement on Wednesday that active use of its digital platform has doubled since the 12-month review of the pilot programme in April.
Ken Cahill, co-founder of SilverCloud and head of behavioural health at Amwell, said the award of the HSE tender is “a testament to the work we have achieved in partnership with the HSE over the past number of years”.
He said: “Our initial roll-out of the service in Ireland has proven to measurably reduce the depression and anxiety symptoms of Irish users. It has also dramatically increased access to mental health support to people right across the island, and we are now successfully supporting overburdened staff and services within our health system.”
Jim Ryan, assistant national director of HSE mental health operations, said there had been some “really encouraging results in terms of mental health outcomes” from the pilot programme.
“Research and recent experience continues to show that people engage well with digital mental health support,” he said. “Access to an evidence based programme such as SilverCloud, to address anxiety and depression is a really important and helpful addition to the range of supports being provided by the HSE.”
Spun out from a collaborative project between the National Digital Research Centre, Mater University Hospital and Trinity College Dublin, SilverCloud reached the one million customer milestone globally earlier this year.