SilverCloud: tackling the mental health impact of COVID
Digital healthcare company SilverCloud Health have created an app to support patients experiencing mental health problems that have arisen due to COVID-19.
“Space from Covid" has been developed to tackle sleep issues, stress, grief and loss, and money worries.
This follows research that shows the mental wellbeing of patients recovering from COVID-19 is low enough on average to require assessment for depression. According to feedback from digital therapeutics providers my mhealth, patients who used their Covid Virtual Ward reported significantly lower feelings of wellbeing.
Measured against the WHO-5 wellbeing scale created by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the average score was in the “poor” wellbeing category – low enough to suggest that COVID has had a significant impact on wellbeing and that the respondents may benefit from further support and assessment.
Designed by psychologists and wellbeing practitioners, the Space from Covid digital therapy initiative is being offered free to anyone over the age of 18 by SilverCloud Health, who work with 80% of NHS mental health trusts in England.
The programme offers online modules based on cognitive behavioural therapy to address the most common mental health challenges people have experienced during the lockdown. The therapy provides coping strategies to address issues including trouble sleeping, stress, bereavement and financial worries.
Dr Lloyd Humphreys, a clinical psychologist and head of Europe at SilverCloud Health, said: “We have seen an extreme rise in the last 12 months in demand for mental health support across the UK, and in relation to a range of common mental challenges that many people are encountering and never before experienced. We need to reach people quicker and earlier to help stop the descent from poor wellbeing into mental health.
“This new data provided by my mhealth shows that COVID-19 may cause a legacy of depression – a further indication of how far-reaching the impact is on mental, and physical health. We are in a new era of acknowledging that society’s recovery will take time to nurture and Space from Covid has been designed to provide people with simple, accessible help based on cognitive behavioural therapy as they adjust to their "new normal"".
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”