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Digital technologies offer new ways to tackle mental health problems

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5163 (Published 30 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5163
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

More people in the United Kingdom could begin to access mental healthcare through digital technologies as traditional services face a struggle to expand, say researchers.

Experts from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London said that rapidly developing innovations provided “huge” opportunities to improve the prevention and treatment, including self help, of mental disorders.

But they said that the growth of “e-mental health tools” such as internet forums, smart phone applications, and “therapeutic” video games would also pose challenges for researchers and health professionals.

Paul Wicks, honorary research worker at King’s College and an employee of the for-profit company PatientsLikeMe, said that rigorous work was needed to evaluate the …

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