Irish technology firm SilverCloud Health has signed up with the HSE to provide access to digital mental health services to support the self-management of people with bipolar disorder.
The initiative includes an online interactive information programme and tool kit that helps facilitate effective self-management, with the use of the tools supported by clinicians responsible for the care of these patients.
The programme, which works alongside traditional healthcare supports, could lead to the provision of such services for 40,000 people living with bipolar disorder in Ireland, and pave the way for the introduction of further digitally-delivered services.
SilverCloud Health's digital platform is a global standard platform providing evidence-based online mental health and behavioural healthcare solutions. Launched in 2012, the company has worked with 200 organisations to support more than 170,000 patients globally, including the NHS in England.
The initiative comes following the HSE’s work on the Lighthouse Projects, and the building of electronic health records to support the treatment of people living with bipolar disorder.
Around one in four people experience a mental health issue in any given year, with anxiety and depression among the most common conditions.
"The Lighthouse Projects were launched with a specific focus to build an understanding of the benefits of an electronic health record in the Irish healthcare system," said Martin Curley, chief information officer, HSE, eHealth Ireland.
“The Bipolar Lighthouse Project in collaboration with SilverCloud fits very strongly with the focus on ‘Stay left, Shift left’ strategy launched by eHealth Ireland this week. This strategy supports the Slaintecare strategy of shifting reactive care from hospitals to proactive and preventative care, enabling and supporting patients through the utilisation of digital applications.”
SilverCloud Health’s programmes for depression and anxiety disorders bring results that are comparable with similar face-to-face services, with the company aiming to maintain a completion level of 80 per cent and 98 per cent satisfaction.
"As an Irish company with global reach it is great to see the SilverCloud platform implemented in Ireland for the first time with the Health Service Executive, " said SilverCloud Health chief executive Ken Cahill.
“With one in four Irish people suffering with mental health issues and conditions it is imperative that with innovative digital and alternative solutions we can make it accessible for all at an increased speed of delivery, timing. With proven results, this partnership will continue to develop, delivering a faster, more effective service for mental health in Ireland.”