Digital Health Applied to the Clinical Research of Brain Disorders Network
Digital approaches are rapidly changing traditional ways of diagnosis, monitoring, management, and treatment of brain disorders and are expected to be a driving force for at least the next decade worldwide. This idea is in line with recent claims of the WHO, that mobile technology is the most promising way to reduce global mental health and change the way of delivery of treatment. One mayor driver is the advent of smartphones. Smartphones allow for delivery of treatment to patients on-demand in real-time and naturalistic settings and can augment already available treatments. At the same time, smartphones contain several sensors and technologies enabling patients, researchers, and clinicians to access information about physical and social activities. However, since the development of smartphone apps is driven mainly by software and computer scientists and private companies, most available apps have not been scientifically investigated, and the validity, treatment effect, and safety have been sparingly investigated in studies with high methodological heterogeneity.
The direction of the ECNP Network ‘Digital Health Applied to the Clinical Research of Brain Disorders’ is to gather European experts within the field of digital health with the goal of establishing a collaborating network and platform to work across nations to continuously produce, update and spread out state-of-the-art guidelines for future studies and clinical practice within the field of digital health applied to clinical research. In addition, we aim to achieve a clear vision in this field of mobile health within psychiatry and clinical psychology and robust evidence-based information, for scientist as well as for practitioners. To start with this endeavor we decided to take a broad, but focused approach. We will mainly focus on mHealth, using smartphones as technological backbone. To cover the whole breadth of digital health, we will also include experts from eHealth and machine learning to bridge into the communities working in these areas.
The aims of the network are as follows:
- to foster translational neuroscientific research in the area of digital health
- to develop a vision of how digital approaches will transform neuroscience
- to collect evidence-based information about the effectiveness of digital medicine
- to obtain European grants and foster interactions with stakeholders and the ECNP community
- to overcome technological and regulatory bottle-necks, by sharing best-practice approaches