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02.2015 - MasterMind: news telemedicine tools to fight mental depression

Experiencing new telemedicine tools to support care in people affected by depression, helping the relationship between clinician and patient. This is the main aim of the Local Health Authority n. 9 (ULSS n.9 Treviso) that, with the technical supports of Arsenàl.IT, partecipates MasterMind (MAnagement of mental health diSorders Through advancEd Technology and seRvices– teleHealth for the MIND), a European project that studies and experiments telemedicine service for adult patients suffering from depression. The pilot in Treviso will involve 200 patients and almost 20 general practitioners and specialists. The first meeting took place on the 29th January 2015.

“When we talk about depression, I think it is fundamental to integrate innovative tools inside the unvarying relationship between clinician and patient – dr. Gerardo Favaretto, general manager of the Mental Health Services of LHA n.9 of Treviso who coordinates the project at local level – in Italy we still have to afford the problem of digital culture and there are a series of prejudices to approach new technologies. Even if they are to be considered great chances to approach patients to new ways to propose therapies but, above all, to reinforce the collaboration network among general practitioners and mental health services, by enhancing a correct and rational use of resources”. “MasterMind is an innovative experience for our territory – underlines Favaretto – it will let us experience some telemedicine services to take care of people suffering from depression. They are a growing number and we have to keep in mind that different forms of depression can affect 10% of population in different phases of their life and they represent a phenomenon at high social impact”.

Arsenàl.IT supports Local Health Authority n.9 of Treviso that is partner in the European project experimenting the computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) and collaborative care among general practitioners and specialists for depression facilitated by videoconference.

The 23 European partners aim at improving the level of collaboration among general practitioners and professional mental health services, by identifying, early detecting and healing depression, making available efficient healthcare with innovative tools capable of permitting people to manage autonomously their therapies and favouring the overcoming their problems with the support of dedicated professionals.

In the wide European partnership telemedicine mental health services are going to be experimented in 15 European regions, involving 5.200 patients and 116professionals on the basis of past experiences developed in northern European countries (Denmark, the Netherlands, and Scotland). Arsenàl.IT supports LHA n.9 of Treviso as for the pilot action with 200 patients and 20 clinicians, and as for the HTA analysis of all data collected.

MasterMind started on March 2014 for a time length of 3 years and a budgetof € 14.000.000. The budget for LHA n. 9 Treviso is € 673.356, half of them funded by the European Commission.