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WHO/Europe is holding a 1-day hybrid meeting on 7 December focusing on innovations related to Big Data analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) in the field of mental health. The meeting aims to provide an opportunity to discuss how health policy-makers can make use of these tools to better allocate resources and predict mental health conditions in populations.
The event seeks to bring together professionals working with mental health data and health information systems and on policy-making, with a goal of exploring how to improve existing mental health data using emerging Big Data analytics and AI-powered tools and providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and country experiences on implementing these tools in decision-making.
The mental health and well-being of the WHO European Region has been hit hard by several large-scale public health emergencies over the past few years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and an increasing cost-of-living crisis.
While mental health services have attempted to adapt to the increased demand, they remain deprioritized and under-resourced, preventing many from getting the help they need.
AI and Big Data analytics are seen as novel tools in the planning of mental health services as well as identifying and monitoring mental health problems in individuals and populations. AI-driven tools can harness readily available, real-time data – such as that generated through social media and electronic health records – to effectively plan and allocate resources for mental health services, identify and prevent misinformation related to public health concerns, develop targeted communications to promote behaviour change and predict and intervene early in mental ill health.
A key objective of the meeting is to clarify and guide the use of Big Data and AI in mental health to ensure that countries are implementing these technologies in a safe and effective manner. The use of publicly available data, such as that collected by social media enterprises (so called “Big Data”) raises significant ethical issues related to privacy and discrimination, particularly in the context of predicting and identifying those who may be at risk of developing mental health conditions. Moreover, the sensitive management of health data cannot be carried out without sufficient digital health literacy among the people using that data.
Participants will have the opportunity to discuss case studies across Member States on the use of data from social media and electronic health records for planning mental health services and how this may shape the future of such services.
Digital health and mental health are 2 of the 4 flagships under the European Programme of Work 2020–2025, acting as “accelerators of change”, increasing focus on critical issues that can be transformative to health. This past September, WHO/Europe unveiled an action plan for digital health that was resoundingly endorsed by Member States at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe. The Pan-European Mental Health Coalition, launched by WHO/Europe in 2021, brings together influential stakeholders to mobilize investment in mental health and works with individuals and communities to transform societal attitudes about mental health.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Pan-European Mental Health Coalition
Digital health in the European Region
European Programme of Work
Big Data analytics and artificial intelligence in mental health – World Health Organization
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