DigiCAT team wins Wellcome Prize

The DigiCAT project, led by Psychology lecturer Dr Aja Murray, has won the Wellcome Data Prize in Mental Health.

DigiCAT team photo

DigiCAT (Digital Counterfactual Analysis Tool) is an app that analyses cause and effect in observational mental health data. This can accelerate progress in identifying potential intervention targets.

The tool was developed by researchers from across the University of Edinburgh. In addition to colleagues in the Psychology department, staff from the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and the Schools of Health, and Languages, and Literature & Cultures were involved.

The Wellcome Data Prize is an initiative that supports teams in using existing data to uncover new insights and build digital tools. Participants are supported to co-create digital solutions such as new software packages, algorithms or scripts.

The aim of the prize is to support collaborative approaches to research into anxiety and depression in young people.

There are three phases to the prize, each six months long; Discovery; Prototyping; and Sustainability. Having been successful in all phases, the DigiCAT team will share the £500,000 award with two other projects.

There is a strong need to deliver better solutions in the prevention and treatment of mental health issues for young people. We hope we can contribute to this through offering a tool to help identify and prioritise the most promising intervention targets.

Dr Aja Murray

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Image credit – Joseph Turner, BBC R&D