Australian Mobile Health Team Comes to T2

T2 will host a team from the Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation in Australia on Wednesday, October 15. The researchers and developers will visit T2 to discuss issues in mobile health, how to integrate e-health into health care, explore the future of the field and consider potential collaboration.

Based at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia, the institute was recently named as the lead for the new e-Mental Health in Practice (eMHPrac) initiative. Funded by the Australian Government to bolster mental health services in Australia, this $6.5 million initiative will promote e-mental health web programs and apps to more than 15,000 primary health practitioners, psychologists, social workers, counsellors, practice nurses and other health professionals.

"The Government is investing in e-mental health as part of our overall plan to improve primary care, which will be critical to the future success of our health care system," said Minister for Health Peter Dutton.

The project will support practitioners in using e-mental health programs, services and apps within their work to help individuals deal with a range of mental health problems. Programs range from providing health information, peer support services, virtual applications and games, real-time interaction with practitioners and support workers trained to assist people experiencing mental health issues.

Dr. David Kavanagh, who will be one of the visitors to T2 and who heads QUT's ePsych research group, said eMHPrac would not replace existing psychological services, but expand access to mental health support through the use of web programs and phone apps that could tailor information and strategies to a person's individual needs.

"Mental health-related conditions such as depression, anxiety or substance use disorder affect around 45 per cent of Australians aged 16-85. E-health services are a proven way to treat and support people through telephone, mobile phone, computer and online applications," said Kavanaugh.

To learn more about the program visit the eMHPrac initiative website.

Cathy McDonald is the Staff Writer for the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2).

The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health & Traumatic Brain Injury, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.


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