Why mental health?
One of the key areas of planned collaboration is advancing study on mental health. Mental disorder is highly prevalent in Hong Kong – 1 in 6 people in the city are suffering from a diagnosable mental illness. However, the city only has 4.5 psychiatrists per 100,000 people, about one-third of the number in the United Kingdom (UK). There is, therefore, a pressing need to explore new technologies that support mental healthcare in HK.
Professor Yun Kwok Wing, Chairman of Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK remarked: 'Our current medical system is inadequate to meet the growing demand for diagnosis and treatment of mental problems. But good news is the advancement in technology provides potential revolutionary solutions. The increasing availability of electronic platform for psychotherapeutic intervention, generation of digital data, extraordinary advances in computational power and software tools, artificial intelligence and etc., enhance the accessibility to healthcare, especially for mental health.'
Professor Ian Everall, Executive Dean, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London remarked: 'We are delighted to be partnering with CUHK as a leading research centre for mental health in Asia.'
The hope is that expertise from both universities will allow the power of the digital revolution to be harnessed in order to transform mental healthcare in the region over the next five years.
To ensure the programmes are translational and to maximize patient benefit, the team will collaborate with experts across different disciplines and sectors including healthcare providers and the technology industries. The team has submitted a proposal to the HKSAR Government under the Health@InnoHK research cluster initiative.