Youth Turning to Apps for Mental Health Needs.


Youth Turning to Apps for Mental Health Needs.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2014, a total of 6,122 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 10 and older (10.8 deaths per 100,000 population), with suicide being the leading cause of death among young people aged 20-34 years of age. This equates to approximately one death every two hours, with around 75% of these being male.

Suicide is not a mental illness in itself, but rather a desperate attempt to control the overwhelming symptoms of the underlying mental health disease; making it the ultimate consequence for many mental illnesses. The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey found that young people aged 16–24 were more likely to report suicidal thoughts than any other age group, with females in this age group having the highest levels of suicidal thoughts than any other demographic.

It is easy to rattle off a long list of statistics to prove a point, but there is a greater issue involved here, 72% of people who died from suicide between 2002 and 2012 had not contacted their GP or a healthcare professional about these feelings in the year leading up to the event.

There are a multitude of reasons to why patients are not reaching out for help. Severe depression and anxiety can make simple tasks such as going outside or calling your doctor too difficult. Simple everyday processes become a barrier to accessing help. It may be difficult to get access to a GP or a Doctor they trust, they may lack faith in the system to help them or are poorly informed about the help available, and the general stigma associated with mental health.

Although society and the media is trying very hard to change perceptions of mental health and the stigma associated with it, it remains a part of the problem. Stigma comes from multiple fronts. There is the social stigma inherent in a society, which can be localised due to the demographic disparity. Then there is a self-imposed stigma from the perception of the sufferer, at the possibility of being labelled as perhaps self-absorbed, their symptoms self-inflicted or unimportant. Either way, the fact that stigma exists around mental health compounds the suffering. Sufferers may feel it is a personal weakness or failure on their part, but the reality is that it is a disease that needs treatment and is ultimately not their fault.

If stigma, isolation and lack of availability of help compound the issue, the converse must also be true. People who receive support from caring friends and family, and who have access to mental health services are less likely to act on their impulses, however those impulses manifest.

According to the Care Quality Commission, evidence suggests that the number of children visiting A&E for mental health treatment has more than doubled since 2010. Many services are even failing to meet NHS guidelines for an out-of-hours crisis service.

Dr Nick Waggett, Chief Executive of the Association of Child Psychotherapists commented on the current state of the sector – “We do hear stories of children and young people having to have attempted suicide on a number of occasions actually before they are seen within the service… The problem is that then they’re very ill and it actually becomes increasingly difficult to offer them an effective treatment.”


I started this article to break the ice, stating the worst case scenario, but these points are just facts. Just as it is a fact that mental health is a continuum, the extremes are quite distinct, but the variations in between are gradual. If the number of fatalities represent one extreme, even though so prevalent, there will be so many more who are affected along the scale.

Everyone has mental health and just as everyone has different states of physical fitness, everyone has varying states of mental health. The two should not be thought of as separate since mental health plays a major role in your ability to maintain good physical health. Mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety for example, affect your ability to participate in healthy behaviors.

Clearly there is a need for mental well-being to have the same prominence as physical well-being. Not to compare mental health disease with physical disease, but to appreciate that they coincide. Clinical depression is an illness that should be treated by a health care professional or a mental health professional, in as much as diabetes, arthritis or hypertension needs treatment.

Since the openness and access to sources of care and support can mitigate the risks associated with mental health issues, especially the prevalence at which these issues affect the young, we should publicise any available resources.

Tom Madders, Director of Communications, Campaigns and Participation at Young Minds, an organisation dedicated to tackling the issues around mental health in youth states- “Most young people spend much of their time online, and it can feel easier for them to communicate through messaging and online services than face-to-face”, this is where services such as Kooth come in. Kooth is a platform which offers online counselling and emotional well-being support for children and young people through a community of peers and a team of experienced counsellors.

It would seem that the use of health apps is an indispensable convenience and even preference which should be more widely adopted by local health organisations, including the greater health and social care system as a whole.

Many services are failing to meet the demands of those in need and the last thing which should happen if they have been able to reach out; is for young people to be rejected from a service they believed could help them. Whether there be a top-down, or bottom-up dissemination of these resources, it doesn’t matter, so long as access is made available. Anyone can download an app.

A helpful summary of available apps to support mental health well-being can be found here:

https://www.psycom.net/25-best-mental-health-apps

By Medicalchain’s Tim Robinson

HealthTech push from UK Government.


HealthTech push from UK Government.

As the Digital Revolution gave rise to the beginning of the Information Age, the control of data became the defining characteristic in human civilization. Data is everywhere, and informs most of the decisions we make on a daily basis.

This advancement has been progressing at a rapid pace in every aspect of modern day life, except perhaps within the health sector. The need for evidence based technology is so ingrained in NHS culture, that anything new is often viewed with suspicion and cynicism. This leads to a scenario where tradition reigns and innovation effectively plateaus.

Within this sector, medical professionals use data collected from groups of patients to identify issues associated with certain conditions, which is then used to develop more effective treatments and management techniques. Having the right data at the right time (and knowing how to use it), not only improves quality of life, but can save it. It is logical then that barriers are broken down to make way for greater use of data in the health sector.

A step in the right direction is the newly formed ‘HealthTech Advisory Board’. This board is made up of IT experts, clinicians and academics. They will report directly to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and its roles will include:

  • Assisting in policy creation.
  • Challenging decision making.
  • Acting as a sounding board for new ideas.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said:
“I want the UK to have the most advanced HealthTech ecosystem in the world. That starts with improving the technology and IT systems in the NHS and creating a culture of innovation so patients can benefit from cutting-edge treatments while reducing the workload of staff… The new future-focused HealthTech Advisory Board will bring together tech experts, clinicians and academics to identify where change needs to happen and be an ideas hub for how we can improve patient outcomes and to make the lives of NHS staff easier.”

Chair of the board Ben Goldacre said:
“I am delighted that Matt Hancock has created this board to inject challenge and diverse expertise around better use of data, evidence and technology in healthcare… I hope we can bring positive change for staff and patients, and realise the Tech Vision with a cutting-edge 21st century NHS. Medicine is driven by information: better use of data can revolutionise health care.”

We are unlikely to see an instance of metamorphosis with the NHS becoming a paragon of health and social care given its capacity for change. But we are now in a position to ask the right questions, to evaluate the status quo, and start to break down some of those systematic barriers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/health-technology-expert-panel-meets-for-the-first-time

By Medicalchain’s Tim Robinson

One-Size Fits All.


Many will be familiar with the impromptu visit to the local hospital. That anxious rush to arrive at the reception desk to register your arrival with the admin staff on hand, to then need to sit and wait with the other attendees until you are eventually called in for assessment, then after no short while finally on for treatment, transfer or discharge. Or perhaps you have entered the system more subtly, via a referral from your GP to an outpatient appointment.

Either way, this is the most many of us will ever experience of this healthcare juggernaut. To filter through the various departments when the need arises. You will have noticed however the timescales involved between appointments, that oftentimes they seem to take longer than we’d like. This is something we might not appreciate.

A fitting analogy to help us see the overall picture is traffic flow. Each leg of a route can be thought of as an individual ‘process’ in the overall journey. As variations in speed at different legs of a journey can equate to delays, each ‘process’ affects the efficiency of the entire journey as a whole.

Just as the flow of traffic is improved by controlling the variation in the speed of cars and the havoc stop-starting causes in the endless lines of caterpillar-esque traffic, the flow of patients can also be improved by understanding the causes of variations of processes within the healthcare system.

Whole healthcare systems have been analysed: from GP practices, to ambulance services, secondary care, tertiary care, and including social services. This work has shown that improving patient flow across health and social care systems is beneficial to patients and staff alike in many ways, such as:
• improving the clinical outcome and experience of patient’s journey.
• eliminating waits and delays.
• saving time and effort by avoiding duplication of work.
• saving money from the cost of overtime, waiting list initiatives, locum and agency fees.
• improving the trust of the healthcare organisation.

The need to apply Quality Improvement shouldn’t be viewed as a box ticking exercise either, but rather, as healthcare organisations dedicated to the welfare of the general population and the NHS, they have a responsibility to identify and review these processes with statistical accuracy so improvements can be implemented and audited. That should mean taking into account all the costs related to any process, including the loss of income to a patient attending an appointment and the impact of transport on public health. The inefficiencies of our health system impact on the general health of our society as a whole.

In order to deliver high-quality healthcare, establishments must start to think in terms of value and sustainability; this means the need to identify a balance between cost and outcomes (value) and long-term impacts (sustainability). There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to the inefficiencies we encounter in the current healthcare system, but there are innovative solutions to address many of these sticking points; healthcare organisations need to acknowledge these deficiencies honestly and utilise new technologies to advance care for all.

A case in point is whether there is a legitimate need to physically attend a consultation. If there is not, are we not then forcing a one-size fits all solution to a legacy issue without taking advantage of the modern day tools at our disposal?- As Apple’s trademarked slogan goes, “there’s an app for that”.

Outpatient appointments and the sheer number of users flowing through a system may be the bread and butter of many establishments, but the reality is that cost is borne out in more than how taxpayer contributions are expended.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/11/englands-top-doctor-calls-on-nhs-to-use-tech-to-revamp-outpatient-system/

By Medicalchain’s Tim Robinson.

One-Size Fits All.


Many will be familiar with the impromptu visit to the local hospital. That anxious rush to arrive at the reception desk to register your arrival with the admin staff on hand, to then need to sit and wait with the other attendees until you are eventually called in for assessment, then after no short while finally on for treatment, transfer or discharge. Or perhaps you have entered the system more subtly, via a referral from your GP to an outpatient appointment.

Either way, this is the most many of us will ever experience of this healthcare juggernaut. To filter through the various departments when the need arises. You will have noticed however the timescales involved between appointments, that oftentimes they seem to take longer than we’d like. This is something we might not appreciate.

A fitting analogy to help us see the overall picture is traffic flow. Each leg of a route can be thought of as an individual ‘process’ in the overall journey. As variations in speed at different legs of a journey can equate to delays, each ‘process’ affects the efficiency of the entire journey as a whole.

Just as the flow of traffic is improved by controlling the variation in the speed of cars and the havoc stop-starting causes in the endless lines of caterpillar-esque traffic, the flow of patients can also be improved by understanding the causes of variations of processes within the healthcare system.

Whole healthcare systems have been analysed: from GP practices, to ambulance services, secondary care, tertiary care, and including social services. This work has shown that improving patient flow across health and social care systems is beneficial to patients and staff alike in many ways, such as:
• improving the clinical outcome and experience of patient’s journey.
• eliminating waits and delays.
• saving time and effort by avoiding duplication of work.
• saving money from the cost of overtime, waiting list initiatives, locum and agency fees.
• improving the trust of the healthcare organisation.

The need to apply Quality Improvement shouldn’t be viewed as a box ticking exercise either, but rather, as healthcare organisations dedicated to the welfare of the general population and the NHS, they have a responsibility to identify and review these processes with statistical accuracy so improvements can be implemented and audited. That should mean taking into account all the costs related to any process, including the loss of income to a patient attending an appointment and the impact of transport on public health. The inefficiencies of our health system impact on the general health of our society as a whole.

In order to deliver high-quality healthcare, establishments must start to think in terms of value and sustainability; this means the need to identify a balance between cost and outcomes (value) and long-term impacts (sustainability). There is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to the inefficiencies we encounter in the current healthcare system, but there are innovative solutions to address many of these sticking points; healthcare organisations need to acknowledge these deficiencies honestly and utilise new technologies to advance care for all.

A case in point is whether there is a legitimate need to physically attend a consultation. If there is not, are we not then forcing a one-size fits all solution to a legacy issue without taking advantage of the modern day tools at our disposal?- As Apple’s trademarked slogan goes, “there’s an app for that”.

Outpatient appointments and the sheer number of users flowing through a system may be the bread and butter of many establishments, but the reality is that cost is borne out in more than how taxpayer contributions are expended.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/11/englands-top-doctor-calls-on-nhs-to-use-tech-to-revamp-outpatient-system/

By Medicalchain’s Tim Robinson.

Snail Mail in the digital age.


With the concept and proposed benefits of a paperless society first being introduced back in 1978, it seems absurd that we continue to rely on physical means of written communication when it comes to issues as serious as appointments and updates on critical screening services.

This is even more serious when it becomes evident that letters containing invitations to cervical cancer tests that should have gone to 40,000 women in England between January and June, had not even been sent. Yet this is just months after it emerged that 174,000 women had not been invited for breast cancer screening.

The contractor responsible for these errors, Capita, has previously been under the radar for failing to meet standards in managing the movements of patient records. The British Medical Association stated that problems included delays in records being transferred, even when urgently needed for patient care.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said: “Local GPs are reporting to the BMA that they are facing unacceptable delays in patient record transfers and mistakes in maintaining supplies of crucial medical equipment, like syringes and even prescription paper… These mistakes are directly impacting on the ability of many GPs to provide safe, effective care to their patients… They are in some cases being left without the essential information they need to know about a new patient and the tools to treat them.”

There has been some movement in the right direction by the NHS, in establishing the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme. This is a knowledge sharing platform developed by NHS England. The programme is set up so that “digitally advanced” NHS trusts share their knowledge and experience with other NHS trusts. Specifically, the knowledge gained whilst implementing their IT systems, and especially their experience from introducing electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Therein lies the solution, patients need to be empowered to take charge of their own health and wellbeing, through applications like MyClinic.com which give them up-to-date 24-7 access to their health records, they can receive updates for appointments and screening reminders. Adopting this technology more widely would remove huge administrative costs from the NHS, and avoid the frequent problem of paper-based reminders and records getting lost or never being sent.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46212057

Snail Mail in the digital age.


With the concept and proposed benefits of a paperless society first being introduced back in 1978, it seems absurd that we continue to rely on physical means of written communication when it comes to issues as serious as appointments and updates on critical screening services.

This is even more serious when it becomes evident that letters containing invitations to cervical cancer tests that should have gone to 40,000 women in England between January and June, had not even been sent. Yet this is just months after it emerged that 174,000 women had not been invited for breast cancer screening.

The contractor responsible for these errors, Capita, has previously been under the radar for failing to meet standards in managing the movements of patient records. The British Medical Association stated that problems included delays in records being transferred, even when urgently needed for patient care.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA GP committee chair, said: “Local GPs are reporting to the BMA that they are facing unacceptable delays in patient record transfers and mistakes in maintaining supplies of crucial medical equipment, like syringes and even prescription paper… These mistakes are directly impacting on the ability of many GPs to provide safe, effective care to their patients… They are in some cases being left without the essential information they need to know about a new patient and the tools to treat them.”

There has been some movement in the right direction by the NHS, in establishing the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme. This is a knowledge sharing platform developed by NHS England. The programme is set up so that “digitally advanced” NHS trusts share their knowledge and experience with other NHS trusts. Specifically, the knowledge gained whilst implementing their IT systems, and especially their experience from introducing electronic health record (EHR) systems.

Therein lies the solution, patients need to be empowered to take charge of their own health and wellbeing, through applications like MyClinic.com which give them up-to-date 24-7 access to their health records, they can receive updates for appointments and screening reminders. Adopting this technology more widely would remove huge administrative costs from the NHS, and avoid the frequent problem of paper-based reminders and records getting lost or never being sent.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46212057

Self Care Week 2018.


Medicalchain is proud to support Self Care Week 2018, which runs this year from the 12th to the 18th of November. Self Care Week is an initiative which aims to engage and empower people to better look after their own health. Last year it reached ~20,000,000 people with its message, mirroring Medicalchain’s ethos, “own your health”.

With a focus on health innovation to help patients help themselves Dr Knut Schroeder, a GP, Self Care Forum Board member and founder of free self care app resource producer Expert Self Care, said: “Health apps are easily accessible for anyone with a smartphone. Containing information, advice and tips on topics ranging from first aid and healthy living to pregnancy and mental health; health apps can be great for learning more about health issues and enabling people to self care.”

Dr Abdullah Albeyatti, Co-Founder and CEO of Medicalchain said: “Medicalchain is focused on addressing the issue of a fragmented healthcare system by empowering patients to be at the centre of their care. Through innovative use of the latest advancements in technology, we are able to resolve much of the issues we see in the health system today and we can provide all this through an app on a smartphone, making access and usability of a patient’s personal Health Record easier than ever”.

MyClinic.com is a tool anyone with Web access can use, either through their personal computer, laptop, or smartphone. MyClinic.com empowers patients by giving them choice and understanding of complex health issues and the treatment options available. It allows families to be more involved in their loved ones care and therefore support better self care, regardless of the distance between them. Secure and safe access to health records also promotes better communications with multiple doctors at the same time to always strive for the best advice possible for each individual patient. This is in perfect harmony with the theme of Self Care Week 2018, being “choose self care for life”.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/11/encouraging-people-to-choose-self-care-for-life/

Self Care Week 2018.


Medicalchain is proud to support Self Care Week 2018, which runs this year from the 12th to the 18th of November. Self Care Week is an initiative which aims to engage and empower people to better look after their own health. Last year it reached ~20,000,000 people with its message, mirroring Medicalchain’s ethos, “own your health”.

With a focus on health innovation to help patients help themselves Dr Knut Schroeder, a GP, Self Care Forum Board member and founder of free self care app resource producer Expert Self Care, said: “Health apps are easily accessible for anyone with a smartphone. Containing information, advice and tips on topics ranging from first aid and healthy living to pregnancy and mental health; health apps can be great for learning more about health issues and enabling people to self care.”

Dr Abdullah Albeyatti, Co-Founder and CEO of Medicalchain said: “Medicalchain is focused on addressing the issue of a fragmented healthcare system by empowering patients to be at the centre of their care. Through innovative use of the latest advancements in technology, we are able to resolve much of the issues we see in the health system today and we can provide all this through an app on a smartphone, making access and usability of a patient’s personal Health Record easier than ever”.

MyClinic.com is a tool anyone with Web access can use, either through their personal computer, laptop, or smartphone. MyClinic.com empowers patients by giving them choice and understanding of complex health issues and the treatment options available. It allows families to be more involved in their loved ones care and therefore support better self care, regardless of the distance between them. Secure and safe access to health records also promotes better communications with multiple doctors at the same time to always strive for the best advice possible for each individual patient. This is in perfect harmony with the theme of Self Care Week 2018, being “choose self care for life”.

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/11/encouraging-people-to-choose-self-care-for-life/

Inside Medicalchain Issue #6

(November 2018)


Welcome to the sixth issue of Inside Medicalchain, a monthly newsletter written to update our community on the progress of our project.

If you missed the fifth issue you can catch up by clicking here.

Announcement

Team Update:

We are happy to welcome six new developers to our growing team:

  • Olivier Conan, is doing a fantastic job in leading up our iOS development for the Apple application.

Olivier Conan

“Although I am an experienced developer, working for a health company has presented itself with its own challenges. Knowing that we aim to make a big difference to people’s health worldwide has been a great driving force behind this.”

  • Maxime Fischer, is focussing on backend development.
  • Ahmed Hassanein, our new junior full-stack developer.
  • Max Port, also joining us as a junior developer supporting the lead developers.
  • Simone Cascino, is our new senior Android Developer
  • Luca Costa, is a junior Android and full-stack developer.

Product Development

MyClinic.com:

We are pleased to announce that our first product, the MyClinic.com application is now live, you can download the application through the Apple App store if you are residing within the UK, download here.

MyClinic.com is a subsidiary of Medicalchain that provides telemedicine services to patients who are in need of an online consultation, with more functionalities to come. MyClinic.com is the first application in the world to support cryptocurrency as a form of payment for online medical treatment.

Maria Rodriguez, the first patient to use cryptocurrency to access an appointment with her GP, said: “It’s super cool to finally use cryptocurrency to purchase services. MyClinic.com is easy to use and I love the fact that I can talk to a doctor I know well and trust. I found the report that was sent by the doctor within a few minutes really helpful and reassuring. I’m definitely going to use MyClinic.com again and I’ve already started telling my friends and family about it.”

You can pick up the story — here.

We are progressing now with our development with a focus on v1.5 of the MyClinic.com application, we are also working on the development of the Health Platform which we aim to incorporate into the MyClinic.com application by Q3 2019.

The Health Platform will act as the foundation of all of the Medicalchain products and will be different from the Health Passport which will be its own application outright.

Media

Why granting NHS patients access to their medical records is a legal right

The Times featured Medicalchain as one of the few companies offering people smartphone access to their health data… Read more — here.



Forbes writes about Medicalchain’s mission to solve the patient data problem, “Patients now have a right to read their own records. We are setting up the functionality that is allowing them to do that” — Dr. Abdullah Albeyatti, CEO Medicalchain — Read here


Latest Medicalchain AMA

Humbled by the support from the Japanese community, Dr Abdullah Albeyatti (CEO) and Mo Tayeb (COO) discuss the latest ongoings in Medicalchain’s AMA series along with a live Japanese translation! — Watch here:

  • MyClinic.com app in action
  • MTN Utility expansion
  • And more!

Events


On September 27th Medicalchain’s CEO, Dr Abdullah Albeyatti recently spoke at the Humanism, Technology and the Physician of Tomorrow event at the American University of Beirut Medical Center:


On October 1st Medicalchain’s head of health informatics, Dave Ebbitt presented at the 2nd BLOCKCHAINTECH CONGRESS in Warsaw, Poland:


On October 10–12 (Seoul, South Korea) Medicalchain’s CEO, Dr Abdullah Albeyatti presented at the 19th World Knowledge Forum alongside speakers such as the 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon.

  • See more details about the event here.


Oct 17 (USA): Medicalchain’s CEO, Dr Abdullah Albeyatti presented at the FT Digital Health Summit USA — Read about it here.


Medicalchain’s CEO, Dr Abdullah Albeyatti also spoke in Helsinki at Digisote 2018, one of Finland’s prominent health tech conferences about Medicalchain’s progress

Upcoming Events

If anyone is available and able, we would love for you to come along and meet us at one of our upcoming events:

Nov 15 — Nov 16 all-day (Milan, Italy).

Medicalchain’s COO, Mo Tayeb, will be speaking at the Futureland event at Talent Garden Calabiana- Milan, Italy:

Need more information? — follow the link.

Nov 29–30 (Taiwan).

Medicalchain’s COO, Mo Tayeb, will be presenting at the Med X Tech Summit Asia, Healthcare Expo event:

See all about it — here.

Dec 8 all-day (Tokyo, Japan).

Medicalchain’s COO, Mo Tayeb, will be presenting at the Blockchain Summit Tokyo 2018.

Find details about the event — here.

Marketing

Per our roadmap, Medicalchain will initially focus on rolling out our pilot within the UK.

Our objective is to ensure that our strategy and product is aligned with the unique market requirements of each country prior to tackling the global market.

Social Media

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to ask us questions and engage with our community management team. If you have not had the chance to say hello yet, please click on one of the groups to join the discussion!

Join a Medicalchain Community Today!

Don’t Forget To Sign Up For Your Free Healthcare Passport

The Medicalchain Health Passport signup is live! Prospective patients and medical practitioners can register their interest now, by clicking here.

Next month

Insight into The Groves Pilot to date

Our New Offices — Yes we are expanding

Exciting news on partnerships

— — — –

Thanks for reading the sixth newsletter of Inside Medicalchain. For more information on where to purchase our tokens (MTN), click here.

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