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Online Depression Therapy Service To Launch

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Online Depression Therapy Service To Launch

Medtech led consortium wins mental health contract New Zealanders with moderate to mild depression will soon have free access, through their GPs, to a new online therapy service called "Beating the Blues".

A consortium, led by the New Zealand subsidiary of primary healthcare technology solutions provider Medtech Global, has been awarded a three-year contract to deliver the computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) programme.

The Medtech consortium was chosen through an open, competitive tender process and the total value of the contract is $2.1 million. The mental health service will be funded by the Ministry of Health and the contract managed by the Northern DHB Support Agency (NDSA).

Medtech's partners include the publicly listed London-based provider of interactive healthcare software, Ultrasis, the New Zealand Guidelines Group and Opening Doors.

Medtech's revolutionary "ManageMyHealth" patient centric electronic health technology system is central to the delivery of the programme. The online web portal allows patients and GPs to communicate and to work on managing a patient's health from home, to complement face-to-face visits. Vino Ramayah, executive chairman of Medtech Global, says Medtech's success in the tender further demonstrates the significance and value of its ManageMyHealth portal in connecting healthcare providers and consumers to deliver better, sooner and more convenient health care.

"Medtech is delighted to be working in partnership with Ultrasis to make "Beating the Blues" universally available in New Zealand. We look forward to building on this contract win and opening up new markets with Ultrasis in Australia, India and Asia," Mr Ramayah says. Sanjeewa Samaraweera, chief operating officer at Medtech, says the combination of Manage My Health with the best evidence based computerised CBT program available in the world, means GPs will be able to prescribe "Beating the Blues" to their patients while they are in the clinic and have it immediately accessible by them when they get home. Beating the Blues was developed in conjunction with Associate Professor Judy Proudfoot and her team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. It is an eight-week, web-based treatment programme for mild and moderate depression based on cognitive behavioural therapy. Following a rigorous examination by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) in the United Kingdom, "Beating the Blues" was approved by NICE in February 2006 for use in the National Health Service. Nigel Brabbins, Ultrasis' chief executive, says the consortium's contract win demonstrates "Beating the Blues" remains the product of choice in leading healthcare systems looking for affordable treatment solutions. John Smith, Executive Director at Ultrasis, says Medtech is already the preferred solution provider to over 85% of New Zealand's GPs and this, along with its proven 26 year track record of delivering health technology solutions to the New Zealand primary health sector, makes for an ideal partnership. "We believe this is a model that is replicable in other GP-led healthcare systems, as it provides an immediate, evidence-based solution for mild and moderate depression to both the GP and the patient," Mr Smith says. Consortium member New Zealand Guidelines Group will develop the training material for the eTherapy service, while Opening Doors will provide the training services required under the contract.

Ends Medtech Global Limited - Medtech Global's New Zealand subsidiary Medtech Limited is the leading and preferred solutions provider of patient management and eHealth solutions to New Zealand general practices with more than 85% using Medtech solutions. ASX listed Medtech Global (ASX: MDG) is also the second largest solutions provider to GPs in Australia and Medtech products are also used in several other countries including Ireland, India, Singapore, Brunei, United States and the Pacific Islands.

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