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News & Press: News

Great Open Workshop: How can we employ Technological Solutions to Reduce the use of Force?

26 November 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Smith
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On 14th November, 61 participants gathered in Odense Denmark to have an open workshop about how technological solutions could be used to reduce the use of force within psychiatry. The workshop was hosted by the Health Innovation Centre of Southern Denmark and the Centre for Telepsychiatry. The participants included clinicians from three of the five Danish regions who are in charge of psychiatric care in Denmark, representatives from the Centre for Telepsychiatry in South Denmark, patients and companies developing technological solutions.


Reducing the Use of Force within Psychiatric Care

The background for the workshop was that reducing the use of force within psychiatric care is high on the agenda in Denmark and though there are many methods to employ, we have still not succeeded in reducing the use of force enough and we need to test more solutions. In his opening speech, Anders Meinert Pedersen, Medical Director of Psychiatry in South Denmark said “We have to bring technology into play” and encouraged the fields of psychiatry and technology to inspire each other throughout the day.

As an introduction to the topic, Vibeke Andersen, a former patient and current ambassador of ‘One of Us’, described her life with a psychiatric diagnosis. She told a strong story about her experiences, which included the use of force in relation to eating, drinking and medication with 4-5 employees present in the room at the same time. “The use of force was present in my body for several weeks after my admission” she said.

Potential solutions

Three technological solutions that are currently under development were presented, which may contribute to reducing the use of force. They all need to be further developed and work on providing evidence of the effects of the solutions.

  • The use of Virtual Reality (VR) in psychiatry to reduce the use of force, by the Centre for Telepsychiatry
  • sMEG: a system for measuring electrical tensions beneath the skin, generating data that could contribute to reducing the use of force, by Danish company PreCure
  • Recornect: a platform to contribute to preventing readmissions, by Dutch company Recornect

Ideas for New Solutions

At the workshop the participants generated specific ideas for technological solutions that could contribute to reducing the use of force within psychiatry. The ideas were collated in an idea catalogue, which was presented to the Technology Board in the Psychiatry Unit in South Denmark on 21st November. It is expected that one or more ideas may become future projects.

We expect to host more workshops in which we will also invite the police, patients and more to contribute to generating ideas.