MindTech 2020: The changing appetite for psychological mHealth solutions

Simon Leigh

Health Economist, ORCHA

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has delivered a profound shock to the UK. Measures to control the spread of the virus have reached deep into our lives, significantly disrupting job security, social activity and family life, all of which essential to maintaining positive mental health. As health workforces and local governments reshape their work to contain infection and protect the most vulnerable, access to outpatient, preventive, and psychological services has also reduced significantly.

Given increasing difficulties in accessing face-to-face care, and with this, rising waiting times for psychological services, the potential role of mobile health (mHealth) has gained traction during the pandemic. While evidence demonstrating the real-world effectiveness of psychological mHealth solutions continues to grow, it remains uncertain whether a public appetite for psychological mHealth solutions exists.

ORCHA’s Health Economist, Simon Leigh, conducted research into the changing appetite for psychological mHealth solutions pre- and post-COVID-19. This research was presented at MindTech Symposium 2020, and can be viewed as a virtual poster presentation here.

The research found that is clear that an appetite for psychological mHealth solutions exists among members of the public, and that this appetite appears to have increased since the disruption of lockdown measures. This should provide confidence to commissioners and developers of such technologies that safe, trusted and evidence-based technologies are likely to provide significant value to those with unmet needs for high-quality psychological services.