App for depression could speed up access to mental health services, NICE says

NICE is calling on the NHS to test an online and mobile programme designed to treat adults with depression.

The app, Deprexis, uses cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help people assess their own mental health and find effective ways of coping.

NICE is now calling for the app to be tested on the NHS saying that it could help adults with depression get faster access to care.

Every year it’s estimated that one in four people in the UK will suffer from a mental health problem such as depression and anxiety.

NICE state that around 200 people in England could benefit from free access to Deprexis if it is trialled for two years in specialist services across the NHS. The app could be an effective treatment for adults with mild to moderate depression, NICE says.

Those involved in the trial would be guided by a therapist who would review the CBT modules the patient has completed using Deprexis. The therapist would also be able to see how the patient is feeling and would be alerted if someone’s symptoms deteriorate.

Speaking about the app, Dr Paul Crisp, programme director of the medical and technologies programme at NICE, said: “Deprexis is a digital therapy that could help speed up access to care and free up therapist time to treat more people. This new programme, funded by NHS England, has meant that we can now open up access to innovative therapies by recommending them for real-world evidence study. Our aim is to provide evidence-based advice so services can make informed decisions and people have more flexible options to treat anxiety and depression.”


Reece Armstrong is a reporter for Digital Health Age. Coming from the North East of England, Reece has an MA in Media & Journalism and a BA in Popular & Contemporary Music from Newcastle University. Reach him on Twitter or email via:

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