P1vital’s DISTRACTOR could relieve pressure on healthcare services caused by rise in COVID-19 mental health cases

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced unprecedented levels of isolation, anxiety and depression into UK society. While the number of patients admitted to hospital suffering from the virus first peaked earlier this year, a report from the NHS confederation insists that the peak in demand for mental health services is “yet to come”.  

Whilst NHS leaders warn that they will struggle to meet demand with an already strained healthcare system, P1vital is hopeful that technology will be part of the solution. With the right research, procurement and decisions, Digital Therapeutics (such as P1vital’s DISTRACTOR) have the potential to reduce the pressure on public mental health services and improve the patient experience.

The pandemic has impacted the UK’s mental health in a multi-faceted way:

First of all, existing mental health cases have been exacerbated by access issues. Social distancing and infection control procedures mean that a reduced number of patients are being seen. The NHS Confederation, representing over 500 health and care organisations, have said there was a risk to patients not getting the treatment they need, and their conditions had the potential to deteriorate.

Secondly, some NHS mental health trusts are forecasting a 20% rise in patients seeking treatment and help. People who may not have had mental health issues before the pandemic are now experiencing symptoms and concerns. UK Google searches for “mental health apps” and “virtual mental health” peaked in May 2020 as the number of people pro-actively looking for virtual support increased.

The Centre for Mental Health estimates that an additional 500,000 people will require support for their mental health in the next 2 years. Digital therapeutics for mental health continue to present tremendous opportunities, and findings like these show that technological advances in this industry are coming at just the right time.

As a leading digital health company, P1vital Products work with world leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists and psychologists to improve mental health and wellbeing (Meet some of our team here). Our digital solution, I‑spero®, has been developed out of a multi-million-pound research program involving over 900 patients and 50 GPs from around Europe. I‑spero® is currently deployed in primary care in England to diagnose and monitor response to treatment for common mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. DISTRACTOR is the latest addition to its capability. It is our first contribution to the COVID-19 crisis, supporting our key workers and their mental wellbeing.

Read what the press are saying about DISTRACTOR here.