In Australia and indeed in many countries around the world, the limited supply of high-quality mental health care means crisis drives the system.
If a person is experiencing mental health difficulties and wants to receive care, they must be very unwell for the system to prioritise its limited resources to support them. This episodic system heightens the risk of severe and fatal mental health crises, an issue that affects everyone in society directly or indirectly.
The Productivity Commission stated that for every $1 spent on a person-centric mental health care system, Australia could save $65 of taxpayer money.
The team at Oqea - made out of a group of WA’s leading psychiatrists, technologists and health professionals - decided to disrupt this current state of the mental health care system and offer it a solution in the form of a continuity of care through a digital platform.
What is Oqea?
Oqea is the first person-centric mental health and wellbeing digital platform and consumer app to connect consumers, health providers, businesses, family and friends all in one private, safe and secure online place.
It has been designed to be preventative in nature and empowers people of all walks of life to make healthy connections with helpful people, information, and tools anytime, anywhere when they need them.
Oqea consists of two main solutions:
- A consumer app called Oqea.me - where people can safely and securely connect with their supporters including health and wellbeing professionals, access self help tools for in-between appointments, and gather their own personal daily health insights by recording mental, physical and social aspects of their wellbeing
- An organisation, employer and provider portal called Oqea.net- which assists professionals to deliver efficient, measurable and transparent services to their clients, improving connection and collaborations. The Victorian Royal Commission on mental health recommended a person-centric system that integrated the various mental health care providers (e.g. GPs, psychologists etc.). Oqea’s digital platform enables this collaboration and integration by placing all these providers in a client care team.
The response and the future
The app was launched on the Australian Apple and Google Play app stores in October 2020, and to date, has been adopted strongly by over 13,200 people, 73% of which have agreed that Oqea has improved their wellbeing.
The team is also close to completing their first big API integration with a practice management software and delivering on a large opportunity to make a difference in the youth mental health space.
More information and to stay up to date with Oqea’s development: https://www.oqea.com/