More than 300,000 people suffering with mental health disorders now been treated through digital therapy programmes developed through a partnership between Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and SilverCloud Health.

Berkshire Healthcare and mental health service platform SilverCloud have developed a suite of digital programmes that patients can access online to help them with anxiety, depression and associated mental health concerns.

Described as “a template for digital health delivery for the NHS in England,” the programmes are now incorporated in more than 75% of NHS IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services.

Berkshire Healthcare’s position is one of only a handful of NHS mental health trusts appointed a Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) by NHS England tasked with transforming patient care and engagement through digitisation.

New figures released by SilverCloud Health on 10 October 2019 to support World Mental Health Day reveal that more than 1.1 million hours of digital therapy have been delivered though the platform.

According to SilverCloud, over 65% of people have benefitted from “clinically significant improvement,” against an NHS IAPT recovery target of 50%.

Four to six times as many people can be supported through the programme than through traditional treatment routes

As such, psychologists and supporting psychological wellbeing practitioners have welcomed its success in saving on resource, reducing cost, and its reduction of relapse.

Judith Chapman, development director at Berkshire Healthcare, said: “Our approach to developing digital therapy in collaboration with SilverCloud Health is very successfully meeting the needs of patients.

“They do not have to wait for support and can start their recovery journey quickly, with excellent clinical outcomes within the challenges of budget constraints and with reduced constraints on accommodation that would otherwise be required for clinical space.

“I would like to see what is available in Berkshire, available to people across the UK.”

Coming of age

SilverCloud Health recently announced a partnership with Microsoft Labs in Cambridge to explore how machine learning and artificial intelligence can be used to personalise mental healthcare.

The companies hope to identify patterns of successful therapy that can be used to improve the effectiveness of digital therapeutics.

Dr Lloyd Humphrey, head of Europe, SilverCloud Health, added: “Digital therapy has come of age, it is no longer a question of the effectiveness of this mode of treatment but more ‘how can we provide access to the whole population?’.

“SilverCloud has the largest evidence-base of any digital therapeutic approach and has been shown to improve mental health even after 12 months following discharge.

“The outcome and impact is unprecedented and we hope to reach even more people through our scalable approach and working with the NHS and their patient-centered initiatives, such as the NHS App.”