Interreg North-West Europe
ARQ Centrum'45 took the lead in the eMEN project. eMEN is a European collaborative project, comprising of six partner countries, which undertakes various activities to promote the use of accessible, affordable, and effective digital healthcare in north-western Europe.
Every year, nearly 38% of the population in the European Union (EU) experience a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD. Mental health problems represent a huge, growing economic and social burden on society. The direct and indirect economic costs of mental health problems are significant, totalling more than €600 billion across the EU (source: OESO 2018). The COVID-19 crisis has led to an additional increase in demand and is changing the way care is delivered.
Implementing innovative, high-quality e-mental health (eMH) plays a significant part in addressing this societal challenge and contributes to the development of efficient healthcare systems. However, integrating eMH technology into mental health care is challenging and calls for a multidisciplinary approach and cross-border cooperation. There are also large regional differences in the use of eMH.
EU-wide collective approach
To boost the use of eMH, the UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands joined forces in a unique, EU-wide collaborative platform for eMH innovation and implementation, which was set up by private and public partners in North-West Europe. ARQ Centrum'45 took the lead in this and eMEN was established. The overall objective of this transnational collaborative platform is to promote more affordable, accessible, effective, and empowering mental health through product innovation, development, testing, implementation, and knowledge exchange.
When the eMEN project began in 2016, the average eMH uptake in the Netherlands, France, Germany, the UK, Belgium and Ireland was 8%. Which is low compared to other healthcare sectors; with the lowest uptake in France (less than 1%) and the highest in the Netherlands (15%). Unmet needs were also high, with an EU average of 6.8%. By the end of the project, the average uptake of eMH products will have increased by 7% to 15%. eMEN thus contributes directly to the economic performance and innovation capacity of Northwest Europe; reducing healthcare costs, improving care and access to prevention and treatment, and increased growth of e-health SMEs.
eMEN has been made possible by the European grant scheme Interreg North-West Europe. Information on all project objectives and showcase products can be found on the eMEN website.