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GIANT Health Event, London, December 2023

by Rumina Taylor, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and CIRCuiTS™ Clinical Specialist and Lois Parri, Research Assistant and CIRCuiTS™ Technical Lead

GIANT Health is a rapidly expanding global community of those working in health, tech, and innovation. Their mission is to improve the health and well-being of people around the world by facilitating healthcare innovation and supporting health-tech entrepreneurs and investors.

'Giant' global innovation and new technology health event logo
Image by Giant Health

The GIANT (Global Innovation and New Technology) Health Event took place in London this year, and Professor Dame Til Wykes, Head of The School of Mental Health and Psychological Sciences at King’s College London and founder of CIRCuiTS™, took part in a panel discussion focused on the barriers and facilitators to introducing digital therapies into the NHS.

Til discussed the development of her team’s digital therapist-supported product, CIRCuiTS™, and the importance of integrating such digital health tools within the NHS and making them available to clinicians and their patients. Digital tools have the ability to reduce waiting times and maintain people's mental health. Til spoke about her extensive research into Cognitive Remediation and CIRCuiTS™ and the unique challenges of implementing the product into the NHS. Focusing on four principles that are key to implementing digital therapy in the NHS: privacy, development, transparency for the trust, and having obvious benefits.

Til was joined on the panel by Johnny Downs, NIHR Clinician Scientist and Clinical Senior Lecturer at King’s College London and Liz Ashall-Payne, Chief Executive Officer of the Organisation for the Review of Care and Health Apps (ORCHA). Johnny spoke more about the practicalities of implementation. He emphasised that patience with the process is key, as it will give time to follow appropriate regulations, test the product with patient populations, and build trust with organisations, clinicians, and patients. Liz spoke about her position at ORCHA, an organisation that aims to provide the core infrastructure to overcome these barriers and introduce digital health safely. Touching on what are some of the common barriers, including accessibility, awareness, trust, governance, prescription, pay, and individualisation.

The necessity of having a valuable proposition and robust data on effectiveness was emphasised by all speakers. Equity, awareness, access, return on investment, and saving staff time are all vital considerations when developing and releasing useable digital tools.

Any digital tool needs to be rigorously evaluated for safety and must be useful. In reality, a range of digital health products are utilised across the care pathway. Data is required on all these digital tools’ engagement to identify what works and for whom.

The NHS workforce, as well as the organisation, must be ready to receive new technology, and education and training are the foundations for any successful implementation. Ultimately, it takes time and trust to really change people’s practices and behaviours to successfully implement a product in the NHS.

CIRCuiTS™ is currently navigating some of these barriers. Despite being used internationally by hundreds of practitioners, continuing to integrate into healthcare services remains one of our key priorities.


If you or your team are interested in joining the growing global community of Cognitive Remediation therapists and completing our online course, visit our Training page to find out more or Get in touch to book your place today.


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