The industry is in desperate need of support to meet the dramatic rise in people needing mental health care. We are grappling with a shortage of providers—Massachusetts ranks the best at 150 patients per clinician and Alabama most in need with a whopping 920 patients needing care for each active provider. These disparities are only growing. Thirty-three (33) percent of adults report symptoms of anxiety and depression, up from 11% pre-pandemic, according to a report by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Patients fortunate enough to access care then face a relatively inefficient, one-size-fits-all approach to mental healthcare where only approximately 50% of patients recover. This isn’t good enough.
We need to do more.
Dr. Jodi Prohofsky explains how ieso is learning from data and leveraging the latest technologies to eliminate guesswork and expedite recovery.
ieso has provided high-quality evidence-based outpatient mental healthcare to more than 100,000 patients in the UK. At each visit, patients and therapists communicate via typed conversation; patients also complete standard and diagnosis-specific mental health assessments.
Because we capture (with permission) the exchange between a therapist and couple it with session-by-session progress measures, ieso has a globally unique, de-identified dataset that we analyze to increase the quality and effectiveness of therapy. This enhances our understanding of what works for whom at a large scale - a huge leap forward from traditional psychology studies that often include a few hundred patients.
ieso is using natural language processing and data science techniques to analyze the dataset of over 600,000 treatment sessions and discover fundamental insights into the effectiveness of different elements of psychotherapy. For example, we can quantify the strength of the association between clinical content, such as a mood check or implementation of a change mechanism, and clinical outcomes. ieso has also learned how patient language and therapist variables are associated with clinical outcomes.
One of the many challenges therapists face is that every patient is different. How much easier would their jobs be if each person who came in had the same psychosocial stressors and lifestyle choices, experienced the same symptoms, and described those symptoms in the same language?
Consider this example: Two individuals come to a therapist with very different symptom profiles. One talks about how she cannot get out of bed, cannot complete her daily activities, has lost her appetite, and has unintentionally lost a significant amount of weight. The other is still going to work and continuing his day-to-day, but is irritable, has self-esteem issues and trouble concentrating, and his performance at work is suffering. They are both diagnosed with depression but to think that they should get the same treatment based on the same diagnosis just does not make sense.
People need personalized care.
Therapy for each patient can be personalized to their individual symptoms, if (in part) the specific subtypes of mental health conditions can be identified.
So, at ieso we set out to see if our dataset could be used to do this. This resulted in ground-breaking research, completed in partnership with the University of Sheffield, which identified five broad subtypes of depression, along with 14 depressive states characterized by distinct symptom profiles. Through mining and analyzing a combination of ieso and broader healthcare system data, the team was able to determine how each subtype responds to treatment.
This study was the first to demonstrate conclusive evidence of the existence of different dimensions and subtypes in depressive symptoms. This discovery has laid the foundations for changing the way we characterize and treat depression, significantly improving outcomes for patients, and driving efficiencies for service providers.
The era of one-size-fits-all therapy for depression is over.
Using data responsibly and effectively can help patients get better more quickly and can free capacity for more patients - an important step in improving access to mental healthcare as demand grows. At ieso, we’re committed to using our knowledge and research to create scalable, highly personalized, digital solutions that help prevent, treat, and manage mental health conditions so individuals can live fulfilled lives.
ieso is partnering with U.S. health plans, healthcare systems and payer partners to develop, deploy and deliver clinically validated, digital therapies for the treatment of a range of mental and behavioral health conditions. Learn more by meeting Jodi and the team at HIMSS ’23 this spring, AHIP 2023 this summer, or at the first in-person GD:BHT Annual Summit 2023 this fall. To arrange a meeting, email email@example.com.
Dr. Jodi Prohofsky is ieso’s US Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for helping forge new partnerships as they continue their expansion into the US. She is also tasked with ieso’s US clinical, operational and administrative functions. A qualified therapist and published academic, Jodi began her career with Cigna in 1992 as a line clinician before working her way up to SVP of their Clinical Operations. She has since held further senior leadership roles in the healthcare industry, notably at Bloom Health, Magellan Health, and Walmart, before joining ieso in 2022.