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Smartphone can support personalised medicine in psychiatry

Presented by
Prof. Inez Myin-Germeys, Center for Contextual Psychiatry, Belgium
ECNP 2020
Smartphone technology can support personalised medicine, but close collaboration with stakeholders is essential to ensure that it fits into clinical practice and is relevant for users. Moreover, implementation studies are needed, as well as evidence on efficacy and efficiency of these interventions [1].

“Simply replacing clinicians with an algorithm is not the solution but making patients active partners in their treatment process is. Smartphones can be used to achieve that goal,” according to Prof. Inez Myin-Germeys (Center for Contextual Psychiatry, Belgium). She explained the Experience Sampling Method, where people are asked many types of questions about their daily life. Smartphones can help to give this a clinical meaning and bring it into the clinic.

Prof. Myin-Germeys and colleagues developed an approach called Digital Mobile Mental Health, which can support personalised medicine. “Individualised data helps to feed the discussion between patient and physician. Providing patients with feedback on their normal daily life patterns is very helpful for self-management and recovery. It is also useful for the clinician to define personalised targets for treatment.”

Digital Mobile Mental Health puts the individual at the centre of their treatment, as they collect the data themselves, making them active partners. Prof. Myin-Germeys concluded that smartphone interventions have a large potential as these interventions can have an added value in the clinic. “Nevertheless, we need to overcome issues such as privacy, data safety, and technology sustainability, amongst others, so that it can find its way into daily practice. Only then can smartphone intervention help in providing truly person-centred care in psychiatry.”

  1. Myin-Germeys I. Digital self-monitoring: a step towards personalised medicine in psychiatry. S21.03. ECNP Congress 2020.

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