The first eMEN event in Germany took place at the World Congress of Psychiatry in Berlin, on October 12th. The audience consisted of health-professionals, start-up founders, students, other professionals and the interested public. About 180 people participated in the event.
Under the heading of “Getting in touch with digital interventions for mental health: practical insight for health professionals”, the event aimed for an interdisciplinary exchange of health professionals and application providers. The agenda comprised current research outcomes and implementation experience reports, with challenges and fields of work in internet interventions. To support app developers, a ‘start-up slam’ has given 7 app developers the chance to present themselves.
The event was hosted by DGPPN and the German Alliance for Mental Health. Dr. Iris Hauth (Past President DGPPN) and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Gaebel (Chairman of the German Alliance for Mental Health) welcomed the participants and opened the event.
First off, Oyono Vlijter (Arq Foundation) shortly reported on the objectives of the eMEN project. Prof. Dr. Gerhard Andersson (Linköping University, Sweden) gave an insight on experiences in clinical use of internet interventions in Sweden and respective data. After this keynote, Dr. Jan Philipp Klein (University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein in Lübeck, Germany) outlined the necessity of quality criteria in internet interventions and presented preliminary drafts. Dr. Rüdiger Zwerenz (University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany) presented data of and experience with a programme implemented in blended-care in clinical daily routine. Prof. Dr. Dirk Lehr (Leuphana Universitiy of Lüneburg, Germany) gave a talk about prospects and boundaries of self-help treatment programmes and Dr. Youssef Shiban (University of Regensburg, Germany) gave insight into the use of virtual reality in psychotherapy.
To get in touch with digital intervention programs and support interconnectivity of the field, we invited 13 start-ups and young companies that provide mental-health applications. This was via an open-call (amongst others on the DGPPN website), by which they had the chance to apply prior to the event. All were provided with a stand enabling participants to get in touch with a first insight in the different interventions. In the ‘start-up slam’ seven of them introduced their product in a 5-minute short presentation. Start-ups and companies on-site were; Arya, C2Care, Selfapy, Bluebird Technologies, Moodgym, Pesky gNATS, Telepsy, minddistrict, Psyrena, HausMed Coachings, Instahelp, WeMingo and Get.On Institute.
The event, once more, pointed out, that e-mental-health applications are a promising field in health care. Innovative applications and computer programs enter the market in great numbers. Upcoming challenges will be to evaluate these new products and implement them into primary health care.