The digital therapy course ‘HelloBetter Stress and Burnout’ has been approved as a Digital Health Application (DiGA) by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices. This means that it can now be prescribed to around 50 million adults in Germany. Recently, Emmanuel Macron announced plans to replicate the German DiGA Fast Track process in France – as reported in IT news in healthcare.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT
“HelloBetter Stress and Burnout” is a digital health intervention for the treatment of stress, exhaustion, insomnia and depression. It has now been integrated into the German health system and can be offered as a cure by therapists and doctors.
The web application is considered to be the only digital therapeutic agent for treating burnout. It also has an optional companion app based on cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It offers digital burnout therapy online. Psychologists guide the patient through the course of therapy, provide support and feedback.
The three-month program is divided into seven course units, each lasting around one hour. Patients learn how to use mindfulness techniques, behavioral activation and psychoeducation to reduce stress, which relates to the process of educating and informing about mental health problems.
THE BIGGER TREND
About a third of the world’s population feels stressed and concerned, according to Gallup – although the pandemic is widely seen as worsening.
Burnout is now recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of the International Classification of Diseases.
A randomized controlled trial (RCT) on “HelloBetter Stress and Burnout” was carried out with 264 participants at the Leuphana University Lüneburg in Germany and the results showed that they had a very strong reduction in stress as well as a reduction in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and insomnia emotional exhaustion.
ON THE RECORD
“HelloBetter’s digital therapy programs have been shown to be effective in a number of clinical trials,” said Barr Taylor, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Stanford University. “These programs provide easy access to evidence-based treatment without waiting, help people manage their mental health problems, and could even reduce the cost of mental health care.
“The reimbursement of HelloBetter stress and burnout by all German statutory health insurances is a great step forward for the digital health scene worldwide and positions Germany as a pioneer in the provision of effective digital therapeutics for the treatment of psychological problems.”
David Ebert, founder and chief scientist of HelloBetter, says: “Our mission was to help people with mental health problems very easily and effectively. On average, it takes six to eight years for those affected to finally decide to visit. ”A doctor or therapist.
“Stigma and shame are some of the main reasons they take so long to finally seek help. And when they finally decide on treatment, health systems in many countries often do not make it easy. The average waiting time for a treatment place in Germany is up to six months, some of those affected get no treatment place at all.
“As a result, too many mental illnesses remain untreated and over time become chronic illnesses or are only treated by general practitioners. Our mission was to close this gap in care, to relieve the health system and to give people with mental stress a stronger voice. “
The startup was founded as a spin-off from the Leuphana University of Lüneburg. The company has already secured around 5 million euros, including from investors such as the Ideamed health group (an operator of psychotherapeutic clinics) and from the health and insurance sectors.