's Digital Health Platform Predict And Avert Psychosis Relapse's Digital Health Platform Predict And Avert Psychosis Relapse
Mental health is a growing public health concern around the world and is one of the main causes of overall disease burden worldwide. In fact, 1 in 4 families has at least one member with a mental disorder and it is estimated that 1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem. As our understanding grows it becomes ever more apparent that mental health is crucial to the overall well-being of individuals and communities, and developing new technologies can overcome barriers and increase access to care.

The Manchester, UK-based startup is a team of clinicians, academics and software engineers that is determined to improve outcomes of mental health problems and promote self-management. Their first product, ClinTouch, is a digital platform that aim to predict and avert relapse in psychosis by collecting real-time symptom data. The app consists of a validated questionnaire that patients answer several times daily, for example asking them to what degree they have felt worried, nervous or anxious. The questions can be personalized to acquire more accurate, relevant and detailed data, and the app features a daily diary function to encourage self-management.

The collected data is wirelessly transmitted to a secure central server several times daily, and can be shared with family and friends, and via web-based interface provide real-time access to responses for clinicians. The symptom data is presented in graphs to better see changes over time, and algorithms alert clinicians when symptoms have reached a personalized threshold indicating imminent relapse, enabling early detection and intervention.

Serious mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, affect about 2 percent of the adult population, costing billions of dollars worldwide. About 80% of those affected relapse, and about 70% of the costs are on unplanned inpatient care for relapse. Affigo has developed a powerful digital platform that help avert relapse and hospitalization of people with serious mental illness. Tracking symptoms in real-time allow users to gain control of their illness and promote self-management. In addition, it enhance the collaboration with health professionals, allowing them to intervene if the data show signs of imminent relapse, potentially improving efficiency and increasing access to care. Most importantly, the technology could significantly improve quality of life for patients affected by serious mental illnesses, and their family members. It could help them engage and better manage their own health, while giving them peace of mind knowing that their clinician is a click away if symptoms suggest a relapse is imminent.

From research at the University of Manchester, the first prototype of ClinTouch was developed already in 2009, and an in-depth randomized, controlled trial was conducted in 2014 providing evidence of clinical benefit for mental health symptoms and ability to pick up an individual’s early warning signs. As a result, Affigo was established in December 2015, and they were part of the first cohort of the DigitalHealth.London Accelerator program in 2016. Their technology is adaptable to all mental and physical long-term conditions that have fluctuating symptoms, and it is currently trialled in people with rheumatoid arthritis.