7 February 2024

Health Innovation North West Coast is backing a programme to support innovators working at the forefront of mental health therapeutics.

The UKRI Mindset XR Innovator Support Programme aims to promote a new supportive ecosystem in the field of immersive digital mental health care.

Led by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London, the programme is a £20m investment aimed at treating more people with mental health needs by investing in extended reality – XR – and other immersive technologies. Its focus is on developing emerging therapies.

The programme of innovator support includes:

  • Creating a networking and information sharing platform for potential collaborators
  • Providing advice and expert support to existing and future competition applicants
  • Delivering a programme of outreach and engagement activities
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing across a community of practice
  • Providing tailored support for larger industrial research projects and smaller feasibility projects
  • Delivering a learning package on key topics.
  • Driving the conditions for change through industry-wide and health system-wide roundtables

The collaboration brings together complementary skills – service-user engagement, clinical research design, regulation and digital therapeutics – that are critical to address the challenge of bringing immersive tech to more users.

As part of the Health Innovation Network, we will collaborate with networks across the country, including Health Innovation Network South London, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria. We will also collaborate with:

  • Hardian Health
  • Hill Dickinson LLP
  • The Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI)
  • King’s College London
  • MQ Mental Health Research
  • XR Health Alliance

Dr Phil Jennings, Chief Executive of Health Innovation North West Coast, said: “We’re really excited to be involved in a project that promises to deliver tangible improvements in patient outcomes.

“The challenges are as acute in our region as anywhere in the country but there’s also an abundance of talent and creativity we can draw on. The Mindset programme will help us bring that creativity to bear on one of our most enduring challenges.”

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, CEO of Health Innovation Network South London, said: “Immersive technology has the potential to dramatically improve the treatment of those with mental health conditions, which is an area we know has seen increased demand and widening health inequalities.

“Working with Innovate UK and our collaborators across the UK presents an exciting opportunity to make a wide-scale difference.”

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