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Four measures to increase the scaling of digital solutions in mental health

Digital health —
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A new report points to four solutions to ensure increased scaling of digital solutions within mental health: Mental health as a separate focus area in the health technology scheme, national approval scheme and platform for validated solutions, increased funding in the scaling phase and increased interaction across service levels and public-private sector.

The report “Digital solutions within mental health: Challenges, needs and prerequisites for successful scaling” is written by Norway Health Tech in collaboration with Sopra Steria. The work on the report has been made possible through funding from Innovation Norway. Download here (In Norwegian)

The backdrop for the report is the Government’s “Opptrappingsplan for psykisk helse” (2023-2033), which calls for stronger efforts to prevent mental health problems and disorders, and emphasizes that the threshold for getting help must be lower. The report to the Parliament points out that the correct use of technology and digital solutions is central to service development, and is important to ensure a sustainable health and care service in the future.

The report points to several challenges with the current situation:

  • For digital solutions to be profitable, they must be scalable across clinics, hospitals and healthcare organisations. But such a distribution model for digital solutions has not been established.
  • The informants from the supplier side perceive public procurement as complicated, resource-intensive and full of risks.
  • Many of the digital solutions in mental health have a preventive effect, but there is currently no business model for prevention.

– This report is part of Innovation Norway’s “Mature cluster” programme. The aim has been to create a preliminary study on market challenges in mental health. At the end of 2023, we therefore had a network meeting in Oslo Science Park with representatives of industry, academia, the medical device apparatus and the health service. Now, today, we are therefore launching the report; “Digital mental health: Challenges, needs and prerequisites for successful scaling”. We hope it will contribute to better prevention and accessibility and a lower threshold for treatment with new technology and new ways of thinking and working, says CEO in Norway Health Tech, Lena Nymo Helli.

Norway Health Tech’s report is based on 20 in-depth interviews with people from the healthcare industry, healthcare services, academia and policy makers. The report recommends these steps to better facilitate scaling:

  • A health technology scheme that specifically addresses mental health, and connects healthcare professionals in the mental health domain with solutions.
  • National approval scheme and development of a platform for validated solutions.
  • Increased funding for a government health investment fund that increases risk relief for private investment.
  • Establish (or further develop existing) collaboration arenas where public actors and private providers meet and develop models for the implementation, treatment and financing of digital mental health.

The report was written by Sindre Holme and Mette Aastad from Norway Health Tech, with contributions from Line Stig Alexandersen, Odd Inge Hellesylt, Kjetil Kvernflaten and Ola Grønning in Sopra Steria.

– We are in a time where challenges related to mental health are increasing, and there is a need to both streamline and modernize health services. We hope the report can contribute to creating dialogue and cooperation, so that together we can strengthen the work of digitizing the healthcare system. That way we can help more people, says Odd Inge Hellesylt, director of business development within health at Sopra Steria.

Download the report here.

 

 

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