Exploring mobile software to better support youth mental heath

Feb. 07, 2019

Provincial funding to test new platform delivering remote virtual care

LONDON, ON – On February 7, 2019, Lawson Health Research Institute and InputHealth announced a new healthcare technology that aims to improve access for youth mental health care through remote virtual care.

TELEPROM-Y is a mobile-based TELEMedicine and Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Youth study aiming to improve access to specialized services and reduce inpatient mental health admissions for youth.

The team of researchers will use an electronic Collaborative Health Record (CHR) developed by InputHealth, an innovative Canadian digital health software company, which allows for secure face-to-face video and mobile patient questionnaires to be sent.

“We believe that the Collaborative Health Record will not only improve outcomes and quality of life for patients, but will also reduce health care system costs by preventing hospitalizations and reducing the need for outpatient visits,” explains Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, lead for the TELEPROM-Y study. Dr. Forchuk is the Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery, and Assistant Scientific Director at Lawson.

This initiative is one of 11 that received funding from Ontario’s second round of the Health Technologies Fund (HTF). HTF is a program of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence. TELEPROM-Y received $395,109 in provincial funding with $494,630 in matching contributions for a total investment of $889,739.

Research participants will be youth, aged 16 to 25 years old, who have symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, and are receiving outpatient services from a hospital-based mental health care program at London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and Woodstock General Hospital, or community-based services from partner organizations.

Other project contributors include Woodstock General Hospital, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) in London, St. Michael’s Hospital Centre for Excellence in Economic Analysis Research, The Forge (McMaster University), Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and Western University.

“An analysis will be conducted to assess whether the technology is effective and efficient, and acceptable to both the staff and youth using it,” adds Dr. Forchuk.

The research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

The mobile software will be evaluated on its ability to improve the ease of access to care; monitor mood and behaviour changes for earlier intervention; enhance information exchange between patient and health care provider; and, support the overall experience for the youth.

The study extends previous findings from the Youth Mental Health Engagement Network study (Y-MHEN), which developed, delivered and evaluated an interactive web-based personal health record, the Lawson SMART Record (LSR), to assist mental health patients in managing their care and connecting with care providers.

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Lawson Health Research Institute: As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph's Health Care London, and working in partnership with Western University, Lawson Health Research Institute is committed to furthering scientific knowledge to advance health care around the world. www.lawsonresearch.ca

For more information, please contact:
Laura Goncalves
Communications & External Relations
Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 64059
C: 226-448-1525

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