Forhelse SFI

Forhelse SFI is a Research-based Innovation program, supported from the Research Council of Norway. This SFI program is a part of the Research Centre for Digital Health Services (Forhelse) as part of Helse Bergen. The Forhelse SFI is currently the largest and longest-lasting projects in the research centre (Forhelse) with a duration of 3 + 5 years.

About SFI ( Centre for Research-based Innovation ).

The SFI scheme is intended to strengthen innovation by investing in long-term research in close cooperation between R&D-active companies and prominent research groups. SFI develops expertise at a high international level in areas that are important for innovation and value creation

The scheme will strengthen technology transfer, internationalisation and researcher training.

Co-financing is required between the host institution, partners and the Research Council. Companies must actively participate in the centre’s governance, funding and research. The centres are established for a maximum period of five plus three years

The main criterion for selecting centres is potential for innovation and value creation. Scientific quality in research must be of a high international level.

Vision and main objectives of Forhelse SFI

Each year, mental disorders affect over one million people in Norway and 700 million people worldwide, accounting for 13% of the total disease burden. However, only 20-30% of those affected in Norway receive mental health services. Digital psychological interventions have been proposed as a way to increase access to mental health services.

The main goal of Forhelse SFI is to increase the use and effect of digital mental health services. The goal is that by 2025, the use of digital psychological interventions should have increased to 15 % and by 2030 to 20 % to improve mental health in the population.

The added value of having a centre that aims to increase the use and impact of digital psychological interventions is that it brings together an interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral team covering the key stakeholder perspectives and the latest knowledge. In Forhelse SFI, researchers, health services, business and end users (patients, clinicians) will collaborate to increase the use of sustainable, accessible, and effective digital psychological interventions. We will do this through operationalization of a framework for innovation, a framework for early health technology assessment, clinical and economic evaluations, and exploration of implementation strategies.

Forhelse SFI brings together the five most ambitious and relevant e-health enterprises in Norway, four national and international leading research groups in innovative digital health services, five public health services with nationally leading positions in digitalization, an innovative private non-professional health service that integrates mental and somatic health services, and therapists and patients with first-hand experience of digital interventions. All these actors are organised around the four research themes “efficiency“, “cost-benefit”, “early method development” and “implementation“, which with the help of health service  and industry partners, researchers and end users will contribute to achieving the overall goal of increasing the use of digital psychological interventions.