Press release 58/23 - 13.07.2023

Digital medicine for future-oriented prevention and treatment of depression

University Medical Centre research project funded with 1.3 million euros from the Bavarian Ministry of Health

The digiBRAVE research project, which is dedicated to the early detection, prevention and treatment of depression, is being funded with 1.3 million euros from the Bavarian State Ministry of Health and Care. Minister of State Holetschek handed over the funding cheque yesterday. digiBRAVE is a joint project of the Medical Faculty of the University of Augsburg and Augsburg University Hospital.

Health Minister Holetschek hands over the funding decision for the digiBRAVE project to the Augsburg researchers. Universitätsklinikum Augsburg

Preventing mental illness and maintaining health by means of digital platforms - that is the goal of an interdisciplinary research project at the Medical Faculty of the University of Augsburg, which is being funded with 1.3 million euros from the Bavarian State Ministry for Health and Care. Today, on the occasion of the Bavarian E-Health Congress, Minister of State Klaus Holetschek handed over the funding cheque to the University and the Augsburg University Hospital, which is also involved.

The digiBRAVE project (Digital Bavarian (early) diagnosis, prevention and treatment programme for depression) is dedicated to the targeted prevention and treatment of concomitant depression in diseases. "digiBRAVE will establish a digital infrastructure for the early detection of depression and recurrence of the disease and staged digital therapy offers in order to improve the care situation. The staged offers include aspects of self-help: online therapies, digital case management and digital psychoeducation,” explains Prof. Dr. Alkomiet Hasan, Chair of Psychology and Psychotherapy, who is heading the project together with Prof. Dr. Ludwig Christian Hinske, Chair of Data Management and Clinical Decision Support, and Prof. Dr. Christine Meisinger, Chair of Epidemiology. The intention is to predict the development of depressive episodes, prevent them if possible, and promote treatment by means of the networking of digital medicine, psychiatry and psychotherapy, neurology, ethics, general medicine, epidemiology and modern methods of artificial intelligence.

Digital medicine can break down barriers

Minister of Health Holetschek states: “Innovative projects such as 'digiBRAVE' can help people directly in emergency situations. I expressly welcome the fact that 'digiBRAVE' deals with one of the major issues in our society - namely loneliness and depression. This is because the project aims to ensure that digital medicine is also usable for the areas of psychiatry and psychotherapy and for medical practitioners, and that recommendations for action are provided. Through the online psychotherapy offered as part of the project, people in emergency situations, for example, can be supported quickly and in an uncomplicated way, independently of their location.” He said that digital concepts have the potential to overcome barriers in the treatment of depression and further improve diagnostics and therapy .

Interdisciplinary collaboration

In the digiBRAVE project, doctors will work together with data scientists, three university chairs and experts in ethics in medicine. “The Institute for Digital Medicine has been conceived as a crystallisation point between medicine and data science. Both the infrastructure set up for this and the expertise in the scope and interpretation of large volumes of medical data are very important in the implementation of digiBRAVE," adds Ludwig Christian Hinske.

The University of Augsburg has received funding of around 1.3 million euros from the Free State of Bavaria for the “digiBRAVE” project. "In terms of content, there are interfaces with the newly founded German Centre for Mental Health at the Munich/Augsburg location," explains Hasan. "The concepts of the project will be developed in such a way that they can be scaled to all Bavarian university hospitals and to other areas of mental health promotion in Bavaria." He stated that digital medicine has the potential to improve the mental health of people with depression.


Augsburg University Medical Centre...

... comprises the Medical Faculty of the University of Augsburg, Augsburg University Hospital and - as a cooperation partner - Augsburg District Hospital - Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatic Medicine of the University of Augsburg. The research focus of the Medical Faculty lies in the areas of medical informatics as well as environment and health. Around 100 professors will be involved in biomedical and human medical research and teaching in the final development phase. Since the winter semester of 2019/20, the Medical Faculty has been offering a model course in human medicine that integrates preclinical and clinical content and places particular emphasis on scientific training for eventually 1,500 students in the final development phase.

Augsburg University Hospital (UKA), which has been under the sponsorship of the Free State of Bavaria since 2019, offers the population of the city and the region optimal medical care, among other things through its involvement in university medical research and teaching at the Medical Faculty of the University of Augsburg. Including the day hospital beds, UKA has 1,740 beds available. 24 clinics, three institutes and 19 centres guarantee diagnosis and treatment at the highest level in all medical disciplines. More than 250,000 outpatients and inpatients are treated annually. With around 80,000 patients per year, the UKA Emergency Department is the second largest in Germany. Every year more than 2,450 children come into the world at UKA. With 560 training places, the Academy for Health Professions, which is affiliated with UKA, is one of the largest training providers in the region.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpersonen

Univ. Prof. Dr. med. Alkomiet Hasan
Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie
Prof. Dr. Ludwig Christian Hinske
Datenmanagement und Clinical Decision Support
Prof. Dr. med. Christine Meisinger
Deputy head of chair


Corina Härning
Deputy Media Officer
Communications and Media Relations
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