What does psychiatry of the future look like?

On September 23, Healthcare DENMARK hosted a virtual Nation of Health Talk on the important topic of mental health and telepsychiatry, which revealed some very interesting perspectives on digital solutions and new treatment possibilities.

Gerda-Marie Rist, Chief Advisor at Healthcare DENMARK, hosted the Nation of Health Talk on Mental Health alongside Marie Paldam Folker, Center Director at the Telepsychiatric Center, Kim Mathiasen, Psychologist, PhD at the Telepsychiatric Center, and Michael Gram, Partnership Director at Monsenso.

The lockdown during the pandemic has affected all of Denmark to a greater or lesser extent. Citizens struggling with mental health issues have been identified as some of the most affected - not by the pandemic itself - but by the extensive changes it has inflicted on our society. However, the pandemic also provided a breeding ground for innovation and new ways to solve obstacles within the field of mental health.

The Nation of Health Talk included insightful discussions about the enormous potential of new digital solutions in mental health, and how technology creates brand new treatment possibilities in the Danish healthcare system.

There are several big trends in healthcare driven by an increase in chronic diseases (diabetes, cancer, COPD, heart failure, and mental disorders), which is driving the costs up and crowding out resources. But the trends are also driven by an explosion in the development of new technology.

The discussions revealed, among other things, that psychiatry of the future include internet-based therapy programs for common mental health disorders, mental health apps, and virtual reality for mental health. However, despite promising technological developments, implementation in routine mental healthcare is still slow. This is often due to the structural, organisational, and cultural barriers that are typically encountered when implementing new, digital solutions, e.g., barriers concerning service redesign from workflow to financial models as well as digital competencies and skills.

The overall conclusion from the discussion on mental health is that telepsychiatry has great potential to be implemented in the standard of care.  

Nation of Health Talk is a new digital concept hosted by Healthcare DENMARK to discuss international challenges through contemporary themes and issues within the field of life science and healthcare. 

The Talk on mental health was part of the WHINN – Week of Health and Innovation 2021 international conference on life science and health technology which included side events, matchmaking and networking activities.

If you missed the inspiring Talk on mental health, you can watch it right here.