Digital mental health project wins industry grant for new trial

21 October 2019
Not just an app: mental healthcare digital disruption
The Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt MP highlights mental health as Australia's greatest challenge as the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre and Bupa launch an ambitious digital health care trial through the InnoWell platform.

Professor Ian Hickie and the Youth Mental Health and Technology Team at the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre will lead a youth-focused technology-driven health services research project, Best Care, First Time.

Launched today at the Brain and Mind Centre, supported by the Bupa Health Foundation, the project aims to provide better coordination of care to improve the lives of young people.

The study will investigate how Australian Government supported technology  being delivered through InnoWell, a joint venture between the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre and Pricewaterhouse Coopers Australia  can support the coordination of highly-personalised care across primary, secondary, and hospital-level clinics as well as between public and private services.

Despite a significant investment in services, many people find it difficult to access the care they need.
Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP

Professor Hickie said that in an area that is historically poorly-funded and under-researched, researchers will use an evidence-based and data-driven approach to provide genuine integration of personal care.

“The project uses new digital technologies combined with a continuous and streamlined circle of care,” Professor Hickie said.

“This program of practical health-services research, at the regional scale, is just what the Australian health system needs.”

Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, welcomed the new project.

“Mental health is our great national challenge. Despite a significant investment in services, many people find it difficult to access the care they need,” Minister Hunt said.

“Best Care, First Time will investigate how technology can make it easier for young people with emerging mood or psychotic disorders to navigate the mental health system.”

Associate Professor Annette Schmiede, Bupa Health Foundation’s executive leader, said: “ … investment in research and development at a systems level is needed to ensure best outcomes for patients and the health system are achieved”.

Declaration: The project was awarded funding in the recent Bupa Health Foundation competitive round focused on improving mental health models of care in Australia.

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Vivienne Reiner

Media and Public Relations Adviser
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