A leading provider in talking therapies – Insight IAPT – has partnered with health tech organisation Limbic to develop an AI referral tool that will provide easier access to their service for users and free up over 7,300 hours per year for their therapists.

Currently, mild to moderate mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, stress, and insomnia are at an all-time high, and NHS-funded therapy providers like Insight IAPT are seeing increased numbers of patients referred into their service. Technology like Limbic’s conversational AI tool will allow therapists to provide the best level of service to patients whilst reducing waiting times for treatment.

Insight IAPT – which stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies – previously ran 60-minute assessments for all patients, meaning that people with complex mental health challenges are given the same amount of time as those with milder symptoms.

The new online tool combines conversational AI with evidenced-based IAPT guidelines to gather essential information and screen if a patient is displaying mild or complex symptoms, with those showing mild symptoms receiving a more suitable 20-minute assessment.

By automating these early steps in accessing the service, it is thought that over 7,300 hours of therapist time will be freed up each year, allowing them to focus on reducing waiting times for patients and helping them access the level of support they need more quickly.

Adam Crampsie, Chief Executive of Insight IAPT said: “We are thrilled to be investing in this type of technology, to help as many people access our service as quickly as possible. We treat such a wide range of conditions, with varying complexities, that is why it is so important we can give everyone the right level of treatment at the right time.

“Limbic’s new AI referral tool on the Insight IAPT website will help people looking for support understand the process and be signposted to the relevant part of our service much quicker. This means we can save our therapists time, so they can focus on helping people feel better.”

Ross Harper, CEO and Co-Founder of Limbic said:

“We are only just beginning to see the ramifications of the pandemic on mental health services. Not only are patient referrals at an all time high, and expected to continue rising, but the way that care is delivered has also changed. Many organisations have implemented permanent flexible working policies and are looking for ways to reduce staff workload and increase service capacity. Digital solutions – particularly AI – are well placed to bridge these gaps in a clinical setting while also maintaining the highest quality of care and patient satisfaction. We are delighted to be partnering with Insight IAPT, providing our solutions to their network and helping them to optimise their care delivery during this critical time for mental health services.”