Through an expanded relationship, NHS Scotland will offer Big Health’s digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia to all adults


Digital Therapeutics for Anxiety and Insomnia in Scotland. (Credit: mohamed Hassan from Pixabay.)

The Scottish Government today announces that all adults living in Scotland have access to Daylight and Sleepio, Big Health’s digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia, as part of their NHS services. People in Scotland can learn more about the programs and sign up for Daylight via self-referral here and Sleepio here, or by visiting their GP.

Through this new service, Scotland becomes the first country to implement fully digital solutions that provide instant help for anxiety and insomnia nationwide and at no cost to the user. People across all 14 NHS Scotland Health Board Areas will have 24/7 instant access to Big Health’s digital therapeutics as the first-line treatment for anxiety and insomnia, effectively scaling access to care through the Computerised CBT (cCBT) & Digital Mental Health programme.

In October 2020, the Scottish Government made Daylight and Sleepio available across five NHS Health Boards. To date, nearly 70 percent of Big Health users in Scotland experienced an improvement in their anxiety symptoms and gained an average of seven additional hours of sleep per week.

Mental Wellbeing and Social Care Minister Kevin Stewart said:

“Digital technologies have massive potential to help people manage and support their mental health in a way that feels right for them. We are working with NHS Scotland to combine traditional in-person services with technology enabled solutions, allowing us to reach people with the right treatment at the right time.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has only affirmed what we knew from the beginning – digital mental health is critical to help scale much-needed services and provide additional choice for people to manage their mental health. After assessing the effectiveness of Daylight and Sleepio, we are pleased to launch these treatments nationwide, providing clinically validated solutions for those who need it most.”

In 2017, the Scottish Government announced a decade-long commitment to mental healthcare, establishing new policy and clinical services focused on improving mental health access and outcomes. This included the prioritisation of cCBT, a programme for psychological self-help resources and expanded treatment options for patients. The cCBT programme has increased the adoption of digital CBT solutions by more than 100 percent since 2017.

“As demand for mental health services continues to rise, innovative countries like Scotland have focused on expanding access to care through digital approaches,” said Big Health U.K. Director Dr. Charlotte Lee. “By increasing the options for evidenced-based mental health help at the point of need, Scotland is the only country to truly exploit the potential for digital therapeutics. We are proud to expand our service in Scotland to support the Scottish Government’s world-leading mental health strategy.”

Big Health was co-founded by Professor Colin Espie, a Scotsman, world renowned clinical psychologist, and Professor of Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford. Daylight and Sleepio administer evidenced-based cognitive behavioural therapy in a fully digital format, effectively providing non-drug alternatives for sleep and mental health. Gold-standard randomised controlled trials (RCTs) have shown that 71 percent of patients who used Daylight achieved remission from anxiety and 76 percent of patients who used Sleepio achieved clinically significant sleep improvements.

Source: Company Press Release