Users can take part in cognitive behavioural therapy sessions from anywhere, at any time
Ieso Digital Health is using Microsoft Azure to give people 24/7 access to mental health care wherever they are.
The app enables people to take part in one-on-one cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a form of talking therapy which is used to treat a range of mental health problems. They can interact with qualified therapists via a messaging platform at a time and place that suits them, and read transcripts of their online meeting to complete ‘homework’ in between sessions.
The company’s Clinical Decision Support tool uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse anonymised data from thousands of online therapy cases. It enables therapists to make more informed diagnoses and therefore recommend effective treatments. According to a Microsoft news story, Ieso chose the Microsoft Azure cloud to train the AI and host the CBT service because of its high levels of security and compliance.
“The big problem in mental health care across the world is that there’s a scarcity of clinicians,” said Valentin Tablan, senior vice president for AI at Ieso. “The current method of providing therapy is not something that’s scalable; there is no way to address the high need for mental healthcare.
“Unfortunately, there is also stigma around mental health, and some people don’t want to be seen to be seeking help. So, being able to access help online from the comfort of their own home, or office, or even a park bench, is convenient, and allows people to access mental health care in a very discreet way.”
The company has treated over 20,000 people so far, and 91% of patients said they would recommend the service.
“A lot of us know what to do to take care of our physical health. We know that we should exercise, we know that we should eat healthily, but not many of us take the same kind of care for our mental health. We believe that should change,” said Tablan.