Mental Health

Using immersive technology for mental health

A new supportive ecosystem for UK innovators working on immersive digital mental health therapeutics is being launched.

The UKRI Mindset XR Innovator Support Programme is going to be led by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London it was announced today.

The full Mindset extended reality (XR) for digital mental health programme 2022- 2026 is a £20m investment which aims to treat more people with mental health needs by investing in Extended Reality (XR) and other immersive technologies; achieving transformation through the development and scale-up of emerging digital mental health therapies.

Immersive technology has the potential to dramatically improve the treatment of those with mental health conditions, which is an area we know has seen increased demand and widening health inequalities.

Says Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, CEO of the HIN “Working with Innovate UK and our collaborators across the UK presents an exciting opportunity to make a wide-scale difference.”

Through collaboration with experts across the UK, the HIN will deliver a programme of innovator support including:

  • Creating a networking and information sharing platform for potential collaborators.
  • Providing advice and expert support to existing and future competition applicants.
  • Delivering a programme of outreach and engagement activities to cover the whole of the UK, including the devolved administrations.
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing across a community of practice.
  • Providing tailored support for larger scale industrial research projects and smaller feasibility projects.
  • Delivering a learning package on a range of key topics.
  • Driving the conditions for change through industry-wide and health system-wide roundtables.

MQ is excited to be a capacity development partner, alongside the Health Innovation Network, supporting innovators in the creation of digital therapeutic Extended Reality (XR) solutions in mental health.

Says MQ’s Director of Research Partnerships and Development, Emily Wheeler. “Specifically, and in line with what MQ stands for and strives to achieve, we look forward to helping these passionate individuals ensure people with lived experience and their needs are at the heart of their innovations and to help them along their pathway to impact.”

The collaboration brings together UK wide reach and a set of complementary skills – service user engagement, clinical research design, regulation and digital therapeutics – critical to address the challenge of bringing immersive tech to our population and staff. As part of the Health Innovation Network, we will collaborate with networks across the country, including Health Innovation North West Coast, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria. As well as these we will also collaborate with:

  • Hardian Health
  • Hill Dickinson LLP
  • The Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI)
  • King’s College London
  • MQ Mental Health Research
  • XR Health Alliance



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