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06 February 2024

Immersive technology for mental health receives £20m investment and UKRI Innovator Support Programme

King's is a partner in a new supportive ecosystem for UK innovators working on immersive digital mental health therapeutics is being launched.

Someone wearing a VR Headset

The UKRI Mindset XR Innovator Support Programme, led by the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London, including partnership with King's IoPPN among others was announced today.

The full Mindset extended reality (XR) for digital mental health programme 2022- 2026 is a £20m investment which aims to treat more people with mental health needs by investing in Extended Reality (XR) and other immersive technologies; achieving transformation through the development and scale-up of emerging digital mental health therapies.

Immersive technology has the potential to dramatically improve the treatment of those with mental health conditions, which is an area we know has seen increased demand and widening health inequalities. Working with Innovate UK and our collaborators across the UK presents an exciting opportunity to make a wide-scale difference.

Dr Rishi Das-Gupta, CEO of the HIN

Through collaboration with experts across the UK, including at King's IoPPN, the HIN will deliver a programme of innovator support including:

  • Creating a networking and information sharing platform for potential collaborators.
  • Providing advice and expert support to existing and future competition applicants.
  • Delivering a programme of outreach and engagement activities to cover the whole of the UK, including the devolved administrations.
  • Facilitating knowledge sharing across a community of practice.
  • Providing tailored support for larger scale industrial research projects and smaller feasibility projects.
  • Delivering a learning package on a range of key topics.
  • Driving the conditions for change through industry-wide and health system-wide roundtables.

We are very excited to be part of this innovative collaboration aiming to develop and scale-up new immersive digital mental health technologies. At King’s College London we have a wealth of clinical researchers who bring their patient experience right into the heart of their research to positively impact the lives of people with mental health needs and their families. We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge in this area and providing support and training across the partnership.

Fiona Gaughran, Professor of Physical Health and Clinical Therapeutics in Psychiatry, King's IoPPN

The collaboration brings together UK wide reach and a set of complementary skills – service user engagement, clinical research design, regulation and digital therapeutics – critical to address the challenge of bringing immersive tech to our population and staff. As part of the this, King's will collaborate with networks across the country, including Health Innovation North West Coast, Health Innovation South West and Health Innovation North East and North Cumbria. As well as these we will also collaborate with:

  • Hardian Health
  • Hill Dickinson LLP
  • The Health Innovation Research Alliance Northern Ireland (HIRANI)
  • MQ Mental Health Research
  • XR Health Alliance

In this story

Fiona Gaughran

Professor of Physical Health and Clinical Therapeutics