Personalised Digital Treatment of Depression
More than one million people suffer from mental disorders according to the WHO. In Western Europe only half of the people suffering from anxiety or depression receive adequate treatment. At the same time, the health care systems are challenged due to shortage of health care workers. Therefore, a new research and innovation project will develop a digital treatment for people with depression, where artificial intelligence matches the treatment to the individual patient’s needs.
This new research and innovation project will provide easier access to digital treatments for patients with depression. An investment from Innovation Fund Denmark will enable the use of artificial intelligence in the process of screening patients and in the delivery of digital treatments. Consequently, the treatments are adapted to each specific individual.
To date, digital programs provide evidence-based treatment for people with depression, for example in the Danish clinic Internetpsykiatrien.dk. Research has shown that digital treatments with therapist support can achieve the same clinical effect as traditional therapy for people with mild to moderate depression. With thousands of citizens on waiting lists or with no contact to the mental health services, the potential is huge. However, it is a challenge to deliver a personally tailored intervention this way. Some persons benefit from a fully automated treatment program, others need a treatment program supported by a psychologist, and finally, persons in complex life situations need physical meetings with a therapist.
The primary ambition of the project is to develop an intelligent individualization of treatment content and delivery to match the patients’ symptoms and life situation. Among other things, the algorithm will predict risk of premature treatment drop-out and support both patients’ and clinicians’ treatment decisions. The new intelligent treatment will be embedded in the public clinic Internetpsykiatrien.dk, which is operated by the Centre for Digital Psychiatry on behalf of the five Danish regions and in the digital platform developed by the Danish welfare tech company Monsenso. Their platform is already in use in 15 countries.