In the UK, this insomnia app works better than sleeping pills

Do you suffer from insomnia but do not want to take sleeping pills anymore? In the United Kingdom, a health organization called the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) can provide solutions for people in these situations. This is a great first: it recommends using the Sleepio app as an alternative to sleeping pills, allowing the National Health Service (UK Health System) to save money by reducing prescription drugs such as Zolpidem and Jopiclone, which can be addictive. “ The analysis found that healthcare costs were lower when using Slipio, mainly due to lower GP appointments and prescribed sleeping pills. “Information is a point agency explanation, as well British Medical Journal. According to his estimates, 800,000 people in England alone could benefit from such a device.

As defined by health insurance, the treatment of insomnia is based first on improving one’s quality of life, then on the treatment of the causes of insomnia (hostile environment for sleep, depression or anxiety disorder, disease responsible for pain, hyperthyroidism, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.). Then a mild sedative (herbal medicine based on valerian, hawthorn, passionflower, etc.) and sleeping pills as a last resort. The company specifies that a “ Hypnotic treatment should be short-term (less than four weeks) and should always be started at the lowest possible dose. Its effectiveness should be re-evaluated and this treatment should be stopped as soon as possible to avoid addiction.. It is advisable to pay attention to the additional side effects (drowsiness during the day, loss of alertness, memory problems, behavioral problems, presence of dependence, etc.) that may occur.

A diary of sleep and cognitive-behavioral therapy

Through this recommendation, NICE hopes to reduce the risk of patients becoming dependent on such drugs. Its Medical Technology Advisory Board evaluated its effectiveness based on data from various studies, including 13 randomized controlled trials that recruited 28,000 patients with insomnia. The results show that Slipio, published by the Big Health Company, helped 76% of patients improve their clinical performance of insomnia compared to a placebo, meaning that it was more effective than normal treatment (sleep hygiene and medication). How does it work? The app uses an artificial intelligence algorithm to provide people with personalized cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Specifically, he offers a six-week digital self-help program that includes a sleep test, weekly interactive CBT sessions, and keeping a diary of their sleep habits.

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Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) represents a specific clinical approach in which negative perceptions and bad behaviors are replaced with thoughts and reactions in line with reality. As NICE explains, in this particular case “ Sessions focus on identifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that contribute to insomnia symptoms. The goal of cognitive intervention is to improve how a person thinks about sleep and the goal of behavioral intervention is to promote a healthy sleep routine. The application can be used before or in parallel with drug treatment, and in addition to six 20-minute sessions per week with a virtual sleep specialist, known as “The Professor,” it is also possible to discuss with psychologists. Special in this case. The program is automated but personalized: the algorithm can adapt CBT to the patient’s symptoms and needs.

“A good example of how a digital health technology can help”

Although the latter was designed to be completed within six weeks, patients will be able to access it for 12 months of enrollment. ” This allows them to complete sessions at their own pace and revisit them if they wish. Participants can join the community using the online slipio to access e-library articles, online tools, and support. “, Adds NICE. Finally, users can manually fill out their” Daily Sleep Log “or their data can be automatically uploaded from a compatible wearable tracking device such as an Apple Watch or Fitbit.” This is a good example of how digital health technology can help. Evidence has shown that using Slipio reduces the number of doctor’s appointments for insomnia patients and also reduces the number of prescriptions for sleeping pills issued by pharmacists. “, Note the experts.

However, access to it requires paying £ 45 (approximately € 54) per person, even if the NICE thinks that “the application is more profitable than the usual treatment in primary care, an analysis of data conducted before and after the introduction of Slipio in nine GP practices. It appears that this intervention The NHS will save £ 90 per patient in three years. The announcement was immediately welcomed by Professor Colin Espy, a specialist in sleep medicine at the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Oxford. “ Digital therapies are not wellness apps, they are appropriate treatments backed by data and clinical evidence that are suitable for review by world-renowned organizations like NICE. As the demand for mental health care has grown over the past two years, digital technologies have simply become part of the solution. “, He said.

In conclusion, NICE recommends that its independent committee recommend, however, that general practitioners conduct a medical evaluation before referring pregnant patients and individuals suffering from various underlying conditions to the application, if these individuals imitate insomnia and suffer from other complications. “ Pregnant women should be evaluated because insomnia can mimic other conditions such as restless legs, or it can lead to undiagnosed sleep apnea syndrome. The experts also said that new research should be done to find out if the application is more effective than face-to-face cognitive-behavioral therapy. The app has been available in Scotland since October but the apps are not yet available in England via the NHS.

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