I think it’s a very exciting time to be working in health and social care. Nurses, Doctors, Social Workers and Allied Health Professionals are often the first point of contact for anyone in need of health and social care around the clock, 24 hours the day of every week for 365 days every year.
Recent research shows that a person with a severe and chronic illness will spend on average 12 hours a year with health and social care workers. Whereas an individual who has transient or mild illness will only spend on average 4 hours a year with health and social care professionals. The remaining 5000 hours a year are spent socializing with peers, work colleagues and alike. The interaction that happens during these 5000 hours not only provides social support but more and more, evidence shows that these interactions influence individuals’ health choices and behaviours. Continue reading “The Power of Connection”
Developing a Mental Health App: ‘My Journey’
Why Did We Build My Journey?
In my role as a mental health nurse I have been entrusted with young people’s deepest fears and hopes about their mental health. Several of those accessing our Early Intervention in Psychosis service expressed their wish for a way to identify mental health issues earlier and to have an accessible service on hand. It is an open referral service, so the better the information about how to seek help, the better the chance of being able to intervene early in the course of a mental health problem. Many of them felt that the journey into our service had been complicated by a lack of relevant and attractive information.
Over time this feedback coalesced into an expressed wish to be able to use their mobile phones as part of the services they received from us. Some of their ideas were about being able to get appointment reminders, medication reminders, track their mood and share the progress they were making with people who they deemed important in their recovery. It was clear that this could bring significant benefits and that we needed to make it happen. Continue reading “The Trials & Tribulations of Developing Health Apps: Part 2”
I was recently given 60 seconds to comment on the challenges of digital engagement in healthcare. I offered my 2 pence on the matter (please see the video above). I also thought of what is happening online in 60 seconds and I think this inforgraphic illustrates the vast amount of digital activity really well.
As a self professed geek, I have to say that I am pleased to see so much interest in technology’s role in healthcare a.k.a e-health. One of the things that I like about the current direction of travel is the increasing involvement of clinicians in informing and driving e-health.
I am also aware that others are not so keen on the increasing use of technology in healthcare, for various reasons. Instead of widening the gap between those of us who do and those who do not believe that technology will revolutionise healthcare, I have made a personal and professional choice to share my experiences of driving efficiency and service improvement using technology. I am doing this in the hope that it will open up channels for more dialogue and debate to explore the drivers and barriers to wider adoption at scale.
Having just recovered from the E-Mental Health Conference that I helped to host last month, the coming months are going to be very interesting as I present the ‘My Journey’ Youth Mental Health App and hear others’ experiences of using technology in healthcare. I am going to be listening and speaking at the following events:
- HC2013 National Health IT Conference on 17th April where I will be speaking about the evidence for mobile health at the ICC Birmingham;
- Royal Society of Medicine Using Apps to Transform Healthcare on 18th April;
- Live Information Exchange Webinar with Vancouver Island Health Authority on 23rd April (Password: Youth);
- The Nursing Stream of the Chief Clinical Information Officer Campaign in London on 13th June;
- Medicine 2.0: Social Media, Mobile Apps and Web 2.0 in Medicine, Health and Biomedical Research taking place in London on September 23-24;
- International Youth Mental Health Conference which will look at how young people are influencing services and the role of technology in youth mental health;
I hope I get to see some of you at the above events or engage with you via my Twitter handle: @S_Amani.
“I think it is only a matter of time before the public starts to say; ‘Why do I have to queue on the phone to get an appointment with my GP?’ ‘Tell me why I have to have a day off to speak to someone I can talk to on Skype from my desk?’ ‘Why can’t I use near-patient testing and the technologies I take for granted in the real world outside the NHS?’ My mother is 93 years old and has an iPad. She wants to know why she can’t FaceTime the practice nurse. So do I“
Roy Lilley, independent health policy analyst, writer, broadcaster and commentator on health and social issues, writes on the Kings Fund Blog.
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Three months ago, I received a call and my mission, if I chose to accept it, was to bring together thought leaders who are active in the mental health digital and social media arena. It was with total and unashamed glee that I accepted this request to arrange an event to explicitly celebrate the increasing role of technology in mental health care.
It just so happens that I had been working with some inspirational leaders to drive for the first UK E-Mental Health strategy, so the timing couldn’t have been better.The details were scant enough to allow my creativity to guide how this event would play out. Continue reading “Harnessing the Power of Digital for Better Mental Health”