Technology and the UK’s mental health crisis
Our Chief Scientific Officer and President of EU operations; Andy Blackwell appeared in a recent issue of Tech City News to discuss our current use of (and future plans for) AI and deep-learning technology.
Andy gained his doctorate in psychology from the University of St Andrews before working as a medical research scientist in world-leading laboratories in the departments of psychiatry and experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge.
In 2006 he became Chief Scientific Officer of Cambridge Cognition, a psychology and technology-focused business and a year later, joined the company board. He was part of a team which developed the commercial strategy and built the company up to a successful public listing on the AIM market in 2013.
Here at Ieso Digital Health, Andy’s principal role is to develop and implement a global science and technology strategy whilst driving the UK operations.
"We have a crisis in mental health in the UK, and digital technology has a big part to play in widening access and addressing the healthcare experience for those struggling with mental health conditions,” said Andy Blackwell, Chief Scientific Officer and President of EU operations at Ieso Digital Health.
Born out of Clinical trial designed to discover how technology could be used to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy online, Ieso provides one-to-one therapy in real time. Patients ‘meet’ an accredited therapist in a secure virtual therapy room, and Blackwell firmly believes that by putting a computer between the two individuals, many new possibilities are created.
He said: “The use of technology and written conversation improves patient choice and offers widespread access to effective, evidence-based, therapy. Furthermore, it helps overcome the stigma felt by patients that makes them unwilling to come forward for treatment.”
Ieso has plans to expand in the US, plus use AI and NLP to help therapists learn from the vast experience held within the network.
“The vision for the business ultimately is to make high-quality therapy available for all – by transforming the accessibility, affordability, and quality of treatments for commonly presenting mental health conditions,” Blackwell concluded.