IT4Anxiety aims to support the implementation of innovative solutions through start-ups with the objective of reducing the anxiety of patients suffering from mental disorders.
Technological innovations give a variety of new perspectives in the healthcare sector. Against this background, the IT4Anxiety project was launched to bring together people burdened by mental illness, mental health professionals and startups, as well as universities, research centers, higher education institutions and public authorities.
The project focuses on the development and implementation of innovative solutions, especially in the context of digital technology. The main goal is to reduce anxiety of patients suffering from mental illnesses, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. In this regard, innovative and technological solutions can effectively complement the conventional medical approach. The so-called "blended treatments", i.e. the combination of conventional treatment methods and digital approaches, are the focus of our project. Like all European INTERREG projects, IT4Anxiety ensures efficient project management and dissemination and sustainability of results through standardized work packages dealing with management, communication and a strategy for long-term effects.
The first work package deals with the identification of the needs of stakeholders for innovative technologies and the evaluation of the use of already existing interventions in the context of a qualitative study. For this purpose, focus groups will be held in which people working in the health sector as well as affected persons and their relatives will participate. Based on this study, so-called "hackathons" will be organized in several countries (the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom) to actively involve stakeholders in the joint development of innovative solutions and their integration into the care of people with mental illness.
As there is a lack of scientific evaluation of innovative e-Mental Health tools, the aim of the second work package is to develop a common framework for testing and validating tools in collaboration with stakeholders and start-up companies. A total of 15 selected start-ups will be supported as part of this work package. The third work package aims to facilitate the use of innovative mental health solutions in hospitals, clinics, community health facilities and nursing homes to promote the sustainability of combined therapeutic solutions ("blended treatment"). To this end, three training modules for users, professionals, and future professionals will be tested and implemented in different healthcare settings.
Our project aims to jointly develop and implement innovative solutions that incorporate the specific needs of many patients with anxiety and will be validated by healthcare professionals and research institutions. The participation of start-up companies is expected to contribute to the creation of new jobs. In addition, the further training of professionals is to be strengthened.