A collaboration between Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) researchers, Eastern Academic Health Science Network (EAHSN) and BFB Labs, has been named the winner of the outstanding contribution to population health through innovation award at the second annual Innovate Awards.
The Innovate Awards recognise pioneering initiatives that drive progress in the healthcare sector. The Trust and its partners received this coveted award for their groundbreaking work The power of 3: an AHSN, an NHS Trust, and a Tech developer.
The award-winning project focused on tackling a critical issue in child mental health – anxiety disorders among children aged 7-12 years. With at least 500,000 children in the UK falling within this age group estimated to be experiencing anxiety difficulties, it represents a significant concern for the NHS.
Recognising the urgent need to address this challenge in mental health care, NSFT researchers with their partners set out to evaluate 'Lumi Nova: Tales of Courage', a digital therapeutic game to learn more about using digital therapeutic tools in young people’s mental health services. Lumi Nova, developed by BFB labs, delivers NICE-recommended therapy via an immersive app-based game which helps to alleviate anxiety symptoms in young people.
Brioney Gee, Research Development Lead for Child, Family and Young People’s Services said: “The project gave us insight into the exciting developments in digital mental health care.
“We spoke to families, mental health clinicians and commissioners to understand whether digital therapeutic games work in real-life settings outside of clinical trials, and what people’s views were of their use in care settings.
“The findings suggest that digital interventions are a good treatment option for some children with anxiety, which will enable more young people to access the mental health support they need, when they need it.
“The award represents the commitment and collaboration across all our partners to drive forward development in this hugely important area.”
Cath Byford, Deputy Chief Executive commended the exceptional team saying: "We are delighted our research team’s work has been acknowledged for its valuable contribution to the advancement of mental healthcare innovation.
“We are immensely proud of their achievements and their dedication to pushing the boundaries of healthc are digital innovation to better serve our communities.”
The project received funding from the National Institute of Health and Care Research’s Invention for Innovation (i4i) funding scheme.