Exploring mobile software to better support youth mental health


LONDON, ON -  On February 7, 2019, Lawson Health Research Institute and InputHealth announced a new healthcare technology that aims to improve access for youth mental health care through remote virtual care. 

TELEPROM-Y is a mobile-based TELEMedicine and Patient-Reported Outcome Measurement Youth study aiming to improve access to specialized services and reduce inpatient mental health admissions for youth. 

The team of researchers will use an electronic Collaborative Health Record (CHR) developed by InputHealth, an innovative Canadian digital health software company, which allows for secure face-to-face video and mobile patient questionnaires to be sent. 

“We believe that the Collaborative Health Record will not only improve outcomes and quality of life for patients, but will also reduce health care system costs by preventing hospitalizations and reducing the need for outpatient visits,” explains Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, lead for the TELEPROM-Y study. Dr. Forchuk is the Beryl and Richard Ivey Research Chair in Aging, Mental Health, Rehabilitation and Recovery, and Assistant Scientific Director at Lawson.

This initiative is one of 11 that received funding from Ontario’s second round of the Health Technologies Fund (HTF). HTF is a program of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence. TELEPROM-Y received $395,109 in provincial funding with $494,630 in matching contributions for a total investment of $889,739.

Research participants will be youth, aged 16 to 25 years old, who have symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, and are receiving outpatient services from a hospital-based mental health care program at London Health Sciences Centre, St. Joseph’s Health Care London and Woodstock General Hospital, or community-based services from partner organizations.

Other project contributors include Woodstock General Hospital, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U.) in London, St. Michael’s Hospital Centre for Excellence in Economic Analysis Research, The Forge (McMaster University) and Western University.

“An analysis will be conducted to assess whether the technology is effective and efficient, and acceptable to both the staff and youth using it,” adds Dr. Forchuk. 

The mobile software will be evaluated on its ability to improve the ease of access to care; monitor mood and behaviour changes for earlier intervention; enhance information exchange between patient and health care provider; and, support the overall experience for the youth. 

The study extends previous findings from the Youth Mental Health Engagement Network study (Y-MHEN), which developed, delivered and evaluated an interactive web-based personal health record, the Lawson SMART Record (LSR), to assist mental health patients in managing their care and connecting with care providers.


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About Lawson Health Research Institute

Lawson Health Research Institute is one of Canada’s top hospital-based research institutes, tackling the most pressing challenges in health care. As the research institute of London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Care London, our innovation happens where care is delivered. Lawson research teams are at the leading-edge of science with the goal of improving health and the delivery of care for patients. Working in partnership with Western University, our researchers are encouraged to pursue their curiosity, collaborate often and share their discoveries widely. Research conducted through Lawson makes a difference in the lives of patients, families and communities around the world. To learn more, visit www.lawsonresearch.ca.

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Celine Zadorsky

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Lawson Health Research Institute
T: 519-685-8500 ext. 75664
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