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WellByte

WellByte

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Team info

i
Bart Koppelmans
i
Dragos Serban

The challenge

About 1.1 billion people globally currently suffer from a mental or substance use disorder (Ritchie & Roser, "Mental Health", 2018), placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability (World Health Organization, "Mental disorders", 2018). Two out of every five people in the Netherlands have been affected by mental or neurological disorders before they reach the age of 65 (de Graaf et al., "Nemesis-2", 2010). Additionally, there were more than 1.1 million people taking mental healthcare (Vektis, "Zorgthermometer: Inzicht in de ggz", 2017) in 2015. Mental health proves to be a significant issue, both globally and nationally. These people face multiple barriers when they decide that they are in need of help. These barriers are: long waiting lists, countless referrals and multiple intake sessions. In the end this leaves people who are in great need, on their own. The biggest barrier however, are the long waiting lists. When people are in need of help, they have to wait approximately 11 weeks before they start to receive mental healthcare (Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit, "Informatiekaart wachttijden ggz", 2018). The Dutch government intervened in 2016 and 2018 by having healthcare providers display their waiting times publicly. Still these lists are increasing (Nederlandse Zorgautoriteit, "Informatiekaart wachttijden ggz", 2018). There is a clear need for a sustainable solution to improve the mental health and well-being of our country, as well as the barriered mental healthcare that is currently available.

The solution

Our goal as Wellbyte is to gather data regarding the problems that people are facing. By analyzing this data, we create a meta-overview that classifies these different problems. We use this meta-overview to couple a patient to the right caregiver. This way, Wellbyte aims to improve the quality of life by connecting people that need support with people that are able to help them. Everyone deserves easily accessible care at the most crucial moment. We have two major milestones in the future. We intend to first analyze information concerning the mood and problems of a person, which he or she puts into the system. The information that the user, whether it is the therapist or the patient, puts in regarding the problems will be used to gain insights in the subproblems that the patient is dealing with. Doing so, we need (anonymous) data that we can classify together with therapist. We hope that the TU/e Contest can help us in our quest to obtain this data and find methods on how to classify the complications of a patient. When we have this data, we can proceed to develop our analytical model. Our team has worked for months on analyzing both the problem and the technical feasibility of several solutions. In these months we talked in depth with well-being researchers, therapists, experts and students that have experienced the problems themselves, and this is how we arrived at our current solution. Patients are often incorrectly referred to professional help. When people finally get into mental healthcare, after waiting for several weeks, they often discover that the help is not fitting for them. It might not be a good connection to the specific therapist, or the type of therapy could be different than the referrer initially thought. The strength of our solution is that when an individual faces a problem that they cannot solve themselves, we will refer them to people that can help with their specific problem, whether this would be a therapist or help in another sector, such as nutritionists, sleep experts or counsellors. By learning from our mistakes, we can reduce the error margin to a minimum and lower the number of incorrect referrals, as well as improve the fit of the care that a patient receives. In conclusion, for us to use the analytical model the purposes stated in this application, we need more data on the problems and how they should be associated with their corresponding professionals. We need help in this stage to gather more expertise on this topic. We are actively looking for mental healthcare institutions to work together with to gather the data that is necessary to continue our project. The building blocks for Wellbyte are available, we just need help to get a head start. Help us be the stepping stone to your well-being.

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