Digital health technologies (DHT) applied via electronic devices such as wearable sensors, implanted equipment, and handheld instruments and smartphones have already shown significant promise for the prevention and disease management of chronic conditions (e.g. cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity). DHT, by making it possible to virtually perform medical activities that have traditionally been conducted in person, also have the potential to decrease the pressure on healthcare systems and their personnel. Thus, DHT might have the potential to address some of the challenges in the prevention, prediction, monitoring and personalised management of mental disorders and their long-term health consequences, as well as to tackle some of the organisational issues in providing mental health care3.
The scope of this topic is to investigate how DHT might positively impact the healthcare pathway for people with mental disorders.
Applicants should demonstrate how DHT may enable:
- better prevention and prediction of disorder onset or relapse;
- better disease management;
- tackling comorbidities;
- addressing long-term health consequences (such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes).
The choice of the specific mental disorder should be justified based on unmet public health need, its impact on quality of life of people with mental disorders and their families/caregivers as well as the feasibility and preliminary evidence available on the use and value of DHT.
To contribute to breaking the silos between psychiatry and other medical branches and better address the impact of co-morbidities in people with mental disorders, applicants should consider relevant co-morbidity/ies where DHT data, learnings and technologies are already available and can be further developed/applied to mental disorders. Co-morbidities can significantly exacerbate mental health disorders, impacting quality of life and the development of long-term health consequences The choice of comorbidy/ies must therefore be justified accordingly.
Ways of decreasing the burden on caregivers and families should be considered, and applicants should actively engage these actors as well as the people with mental disorders in addressing critical issues and research questions, including about (sustained) engagement with DHT. Consortia should propose ways to foster the future integration of digital and clinical mental healthcare, as well as how DHT might enhance the outcomes of interventions by social and healthcare professionals while decreasing the burden on the healthcare system. Applicants should adequately describe how they plan to measure such burden.
Resources and learnings from previous initiatives at European and national level (Innovative Medicines Initiative funded4 among others) should be taken into consideration.
Applicants should aim to deliver robust evidence on how DHT may be:
- made easy to adopt and use in a sustained way for both people with mental disorders, their families/caregivers and health and care providers;
- effectively incorporated into clinical research and in clinician workflows.
Early engagement with regulators should be sought to ensure the future acceptance and usability of the results for example through scientific advice, qualification advice or qualification opinion.
Applicants are expected to implement activities to achieve all expected outcomes.
Applicants are expected to consider allocating appropriate resources to explore synergies with other relevant initiatives and projects.
Opening date: 13 December 2022
Deadline: 15 March 2023 17:00:00 Brussels time
Deadline Model: single-stage
Type of action: HORIZON Action Grant Budget-Based [HORIZON-AG]
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