Four of the Partners working with Psychiatry-UK presented at a symposium on Telepsychiatry In The UK at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) held in New York City. In the past 12 months we had had symposiums at the Royal College of Psychiatrists International Congress, Edinburgh and World Psychiatric Association Annual Congress in Berlin. But this was the biggest, with up to 6000 attendees. Although North American focused there was global interest including for innovation and developments outside America. I presented the introduction that was followed by a summary of work being done by our Addictions Consultant, Dr Wiktor Kulik. Then followed Dr Zainab Imam’s presentation, who is based in Qatar on service provision for racial minorities and finally Dr David Bickerton presented on medico-legal work. Dr Kulik also had a poster presented partly on work done by our research student.
Having attended most of the digital health sessions I became even more an advocate of telepsychiatry. There was much emphasis on how digital psychiatry will revolutionise mental health provisions in the future. We remain aware of this given our experience with Psychiatry-UK, having assessed more than 1000 patients and the in-house research undertaken. Two interesting recently published documents by APA are telepsychiatry guidelines – that I’m happy to report Psychiatry-UK mostly adheres to – and appraising mental health applications tool. We should now, I believe, push ahead with application based technology for service provision, to make usability even easier and better for patients.Over the next 12 months we plan to undertake more cutting-edge research within our service, especially given the recent expansion and our first NHS contract being signed. We are already planning to attend the European Psychiatric Association conference in the Warsaw, Poland in 2019.
Cyrus Abbasian is a psychiatrist with Psychiatry-UK.