Professor Ian Hickie
Professor Ian Hickie is the Principal Investigator of these research trials. He is Co-Director of Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. Passionate about driving evidence-based innovations in mental health care, including new e-healthcare service systems, he is the Chief Scientific Advisor to, and an equity shareholder in, Innowell. Innowell has been formed by the University of Sydney and PwC to deliver the $30m Australian Government-funded ‘Project Synergy’. Project Synergy is a three year program for the transformation of mental health services through the use of innovative technologies.
Project Synergy is a research project that began in 2014 and aims to test the potential of new and emerging technologies to enhance the quality of mental health care provided by traditional face-to-face services. Specifically, it seeks to ensure that consumers get the right care, first time.
Project Synergy has built, implemented and evaluated an online platform to assist the assessment, feedback, management and monitoring of people with mental disorders. This online platform has developed through an iterative research and development cycle. This involves using participatory design methodology to enhance community and consumer participation. This explicitly positions users as empowered participants in all stages of design, development, implementation and feasibility testing.
In June 2017, the Australian Government, through the Department of Health, signed a funding agreement with InnoWell Pty Ltd, a joint venture between PwC and The University of Sydney, for further investment and re-development in Project Synergy. This lead to the development of the Innowell platform was developed and designed to be embedded into traditional mental health services – this so far includes headspace centres, open arms and the butterfly foundation with more services on the horizon before completion of the project at the end of next year.
Bupa Health Foundation
‘Best Care, First Time,’ is a research project funded by the Bupa Health Foundation (philanthropic organisation, not private heath insurer) to lead a youth-focused, technology-driven health services. The project brings together the Brain and Mind Centre and its linked headspace services, working with St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Private Psychiatry Clinics and Sydney Local Health District Services to improve mental health models of care in Australia.
Youth Mental Health and Technology Program
Through the generous support of Future Generation Global, the Brain and Mind Centre has developed the Youth Mental Health and Technology Program of research which involves using new and emerging technologies to develop novel online clinical assessment and longitudinal tracking tools to detail psychological, cognitive, social and medical characteristics and plan individualised and more effective long-term interventions (i.e. InnoWell Platform). This is coupled with an extensive education and training program (i.e. Brain and Mind Centre Youth Model) for participating mental health care centres, young people accessing care, as well as supportive others such as family members to promote an enhanced model of care that ensures that young people are it he centre of their own mental health care.
With special thanks to our research partners, such as: