The HETT Unexpected Innovation Awards returns in November 2022 to celebrate the very best in experimental design, collaboration, and leadership in digital healthcare.

The event showcases champions of digital health innovation and highlights some great stories of transformation. The awards bring together the health and care ecosystem and highlights best practice examples to inspire more to do the same.

The Best Digital Innovation in Mental Health award showcases industry leading services or solutions pioneering in the provision of digitally enabled mental healthcare. 

The three shortlisted submissions for this category are: 

Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust 

Alder Hey, together with Sefton and Liverpool CAMHS, has transformed how children and young people (CYP) and their families access mental health services. The single point of access web-based platform utilises one digital referral form, offering patients and professionals a friendly and accessible user interface that provides support and resources in times of increasing demand. 

When a referral is made, a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) made up of organisational members (led by Alder Hey) will aim to triage within 24 hours. This allows for a unified screening, resulting in the patient receiving the right treatment at the right time. 

There are two different electronic patient record (EPR) systems used between the multiple organisations. To address this, robotic process automation and application programming interfaces, allow referrals to be automatically uploaded to the appropriate organisation’s EPR system. Organisations are also able to transfer referrals within the platform. 

The web-based platform provides assurance to the referrer that they will not need to repeat information as it is collected and tracked across partnership services, enabling the service to adapt based on the needs of the patients.

The platform has galvanised the system and led to an understanding that there is a better way of working together for the benefit of patients. The solution has been presented to Chief Clinical Information Officers, as well as NHSX, who is now using this as the example for how services should be delivered. The user research and lessons learnt are forming the foundation of user research workshops nationwide. 

South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust 

The South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) serves a local population of 1.3 million people in South London, as well as providing specialist services across the UK and beyond. 

The trust serves a population with a high prevalence of mental ill health. Many patients who are discharged continue to suffer from poor mental health, and often require further secondary care interventions. These patients can benefit from specialist services to help prevent relapse of their mental illness.

SLaM has developed VIEWER, a population health management (PHM) platform that enables the trust to apply informatics solutions using enriched electronic health records (EHRs) to systematically identify unmet needs of patients. VIEWER does this by providing clinicians and staff with multidimensional clinical knowledge and patient information - intelligently filtered and visually presented at appropriate times - to relevant care teams to improve health outcomes. 

Digitally supported population health management can help the trust to target its limited resources to the right places towards those that are most in need. This helps the trust to find those patients that would benefit from an intervention, allowing more proactive management of patients, thereby preventing deterioration and the need for acute care.

VIEWER is the first digitally enabled population health management platform in a mental healthcare trust in the UK. The platform uses advanced techniques, including natural language processing and interactive visualisations, combining clinical data with publicly available datasets, to extract new insights.

The solution builds on state-of-the-art research outcomes developed at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

Dorset HealthCare / Wysa

Until recently, patients who self-referred to Dorset HealthCare’s IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) service would do so via telephone or an online form. The online form worked well. However, there was concern that patients experiencing psychological stress may find it too lengthy.

To overcome this, a chatbot widget (Wysa) has been added to the website to guide a patient through the referral process in a more interactive and personalised way.

At point of assessment, the data collection burden required was resulting in the perception of a rushed experience for the patient. Instead, the Wysa chatbot collects most of the dataset prior to the appointment. From a therapist’s point of view, this means at least a 50% time saving that can then be spent talking and listening to the patient about the actual impact of their symptoms and difficulties.

With Wysa, patients can access self-help resources on the platform immediately following referral. This means that they can start to work on managing their symptoms whilst waiting for therapy. Therapists can also use the platform to send specific resources to individuals, allowing patients to receive workbooks in real-time that they can fill out for their therapist to view. This has helped the service to really enhance the provision and quality of online one-to-one therapy.

Wysa is the first mental health app to be awarded the NIHR/NHSE AI Award and was the top-rated app on ORCHA in 2020.

Visit the HETT Unexpected Innovation Awards 2022 website for more information about the categories and the upcoming awards ceremony.

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