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 new perspectives in many domains, including health. It was in this context that the IT4Anxiety project was born bringing together mental health professionals and startups, but also universities, research centers, higher education establishments and public authorities.
The project focuses more specifically on the creation and implementation of innovative solutions, in particular those related to digital technology, with the objective of reducing the anxiety of patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer‘s disease) or post-traumatic stress disorder. These mental illnesses affect a growing number of patients in North-West Europe, due to ageing population trends.
Such innovative and technological solutions can also effectively complement conventional medical protocols. This is what we call « blended therapies », which are at the heart of the approach being developed via a number of work packages and activities in the IT4Anxiety project. More information on the work packages in the dedicated section « Project Structure« .
In the end, we plan to co-create and implement 10 innovative solutions validated by mental health professionals and public organizations that will address the needs of around 3,000 patients facing anxiety disorders. The 15 startups involved in the project are expected to contribute to the creation of around 50 new jobs. In addition almost a thousand mental health professionals will benefit from our training systems.
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IT4Anxiety is composed of 6 Work Packages (WPs) which have all a specific goal:
- WP1 – Co-creation of innovative solutions starting from the needs
The first work package concerns the identification of the needs through a qualitative study based on discussion groups bringing together health professionals and mental health service users or their representatives. The study will also focus on the evaluation of innovative solutions already implemented in the care process. Based on the conclusions of the study, hackathons will be organised in several countries (Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium/Luxembourg and United Kingdom/Scotland) to proactively engage stakeholders in the co-creation of innovative solutions and their integration thereafter into the mental health care sector.
- WP2 – Testing and validation of innovative tools
The second work package has been designed to address the lack of scientific validation of innovative e-health tools. It aims to develop a framework for testing and validating tools with mental health service users and start-ups in order to guarantee the effective implementation of these innovative solutions, especially from an ethical point of view. Support for 15 selected start-ups is also planned as part of this work package.
- WP3 – Sustainable implementation of the innovative tools
In the last part of the project, several activities will be implemented with the aim to facilitate the introduction of innovative e-solutions in health establishments as the organisation of trainings for health professionals and future health professionals and the development of a job profile of eMental health referent.
- WP – Long term
The objective of this work package is to implement on the long-term the innovative tools with the participation of all relevant stakeholders of the mental health field by developing communication and dissemination actions targeting the relevant stakeholders of the mental health field, facing users with anxiety disorders. This work package will support the development of start-ups and the joining of a North-West European Cluster by creating its “Mental Health and New Technologies” branch. Joining a pre existing profitable structure will guarantee its sustainability. The ambition is to have a framework that is easily replicable and reusable in other regional contexts.
- WP – Communication
This work package aims at maximising the impact of the project, widening the development and implementation of innovative tools targeted to anxiety users by reaching a wide panel of stakeholders, including users, professionals and the start-ups environment.
- WP – Management
This last work package is dedicated to the day-to-day management of the project’s implementation. The aim is to ensure the successful implementation of the project activities and the cohesion between all the consortium partners and sub-partners.
Partners and subpartners
Coordinator – The CNP St-Martin is a Neuro-psychiatric hospital specialised in mental health and well-being. We welcome +/- 1800 users/year with 600 staff members. Our mission is to provide a tailored high-quality therapeutic project, comprehensive and integrated, respectfully focused on patient’s well-being. Read More
Subpartner – Similes Wallonie ASBL is an association of relatives and families of people with mental disorders. Read More
Subpartner – Haute Ecole Libre Mosane (HELMo) was born in 2008 out of the merging of Hautes Ecoles HEMES and ISELL, becoming the only college of the Catholic network in the Province of Liège. HELMo now proposes 36 very diverse training paths in economics, paramedical pedagogical, education, social and technical training, at bachelor and master levels. With 9,000 students and 900 staff members, HELMo is one of the largest “Hautes Ecoles” in French-speaking Belgium. Read More
Partner – GAC Group is an international innovation consultancy firm specialised in innovation performance support (18M+ sales revenue in 2019). It was established in 2002 and employs 200+ specialists, mostly with PhD or MSc, spread across Europe, South America, Canada and Southeast Asia. Read More
Subpartner – In-Spir is a solution of smart fragrances diffusers. We create immersive experiences for patients and for the medical staff, to improve comfort and reduce anxiety or stress. Our technology is based on « dry diffusion », that enables us to control every parameter on the diffuser, and to create a personalized program. Read More
Subpartner – Eldom is a French startup located in Brittany which creates light without electricity from photoluminescence, a technology made from natural minerals that can absorb daylight and emit light in darkness. Read More
Partner – With a progressive approach to teaching, dedication to pushing research boundaries and a strong commitment to economic development, UU is a responsive, dynamic vibrant centre of learning. As a regional university, Ulster is uniquely placed to engage with communities, with local leaders and with imaginative partners who share ambitions for Northern Ireland and its young people. Ulster’s reach extends beyond the immediate locality having forged strong alliances with a wide range of partners. Read More
Partner – NHSWI is both a healthcare service provider and public health authority for population of Western Isles it serves. Read More
Partner- HEPN is a university college. It offers 8 bachelor’s degrees in agronomy, economics and health sciences. HEPN is also specialized in in situ training. It is located in Namur, the capital of the Walloon Region and manages 1500 students and 270 staff members. Read More
Partner – EPSM’s mission is to care for mental health problems, providing regional mental health services in the Lille metropole, for prevention, diagnosis and care, for adults and children. EPSM has a broad regional, national and international network and has 10 offices in the metropole region of Lille. Read More