Using immersive technology for mental health

A new support ecosystem is being launched for UK innovators working on immersive digital mental health therapies.

The UKRI Mindset XR innovator support program will be led by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London It was announced today.

The comprehensive Mindset extended reality (XR) program for digital mental health 2022-2026 is a £20 million investment that aims to treat more people with mental health needs by investing in extended reality (XR) and other immersive technologies; Achieve transformation by developing and scaling emerging digital mental health therapies.

Immersive technology has the potential to dramatically improve the treatment of people with mental health issues, which is an area we know has seen increased demand and greater health inequalities.

Says Dr. Rishi Das-Gupta, CEO of HIN “Working with Innovate UK and our collaborators across the UK presents an exciting opportunity to make a difference on a large scale.”

Through collaboration with experts from across the UK, HIN will offer a program of support for innovators including:

  • Create a networking and information exchange platform for potential collaborators.
  • Provide expert advice and support to existing and future competition applicants.
  • Deliver a program of outreach and engagement activities covering the whole of the UK, including devolved administrations.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing in a community of practice.
  • Provide tailored support for larger scale industrial research projects and smaller feasibility projects.
  • Delivering a learning package on a range of key topics.
  • Drive conditions for change through sector-wide and health system-wide roundtables.

MQ is pleased to be a capacity building partner, alongside the Health Innovation Network, supporting innovators in creating digital Extended Reality (XR) therapeutic solutions in mental health.

says MQ director of research development and partnerships Emily Wheeler. “Specifically, and in line with what MQ stands for and strives to achieve, we look forward to helping these passionate individuals ensure that people with lived experiences and their needs are at the center of their innovations and helping them on their path to impact.”

The collaboration brings together extensive UK reach and a complementary skillset (service user engagement, clinical research design, regulation and digital therapeutics) critical to addressing the challenge of bringing immersive technology to our population and staff. As part of the Health Innovation Network, we will collaborate with networks across the country including Health Innovation North West Coast, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria. In addition to these we will also collaborate with:

  • Hardian Health
  • Hill Dickinson LLP
  • The Health Innovation Research Alliance of Northern Ireland (HIRANI)
  • King’s College London
  • MQ Mental Health Research
  • XR Health Alliance

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