US – Playtech announces new research partnership with Kindbridge Research InstituteBy Phil - 12 July 2021
Playtech and Kindbridge, the world’s first virtual mental health clinic for gamblers and gamers, have announced a new research partnership which will result in the creation of an evidence-based model for gambling treatment in a telehealth setting through the newly formed Kindbridge Research Institute.
The purpose of this partnership is to use advancements in technology to improve the understanding and treatment of gambling and digital dependency related harms, with an aim to enhance treatment efficacy in a virtual setting. The research will focus on the mental health of gamblers, gamers and those suffering from digital dependency and identify areas to help and support them.
The Kindbridge Research Institute is commissioning the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey, a leading public research university in the United States, to set up an evidence-based telehealth model which will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of digital gambling related harm support and treatments. The research will allow the data to be used for peer-reviewed research and provide data sets on a size and scale never achieved when analysing this population.
Kindbridge is working with casino operators in the US, insurance companies, and social impact organisations to create access to care pathways through telehealth that will eliminate barriers for gamblers and gamers to specially trained resources that can help them actively manage their mental health. With their support, the Kindbridge Research Institute will be able to analyse player data alongside the data Kindbridge gathers from its clinical network, to give a better understanding of the origins of potential harmful gambling and gaming behaviour. This analysis will then be used to define personalised intelligent approaches to treatment designed to have the greatest impact for those seeking help. The timeframe for publishing this level of insight is expected to be 18 to 24 months.
Mor Weizer, Playtech CEO, said: “The research partnership with Kindbridge and Rutgers University will play a critical role in helping the sector design and deliver high quality digital wellbeing and mental health support for those at-risk and affected by gambling related harm. We are delighted to partner with Kindbridge Research Institute and Kindbridge clinical network as they pioneer the next generation of gambling treatment, services and support in the U.S.”
Daniel Umfleet, CEO of Kindbridge, added: “Combining data from players and Kindbridge’s clinical network will result in meaningful insight that has never before been achieved. The scale of the data sets mean we can gain in-depth understanding into those who are currently suffering from harmful gambling behaviours, as well as members of their support network who may also be affected. This research will allow data scientists, academics and researchers to gain more insight on effective support and treatment in a digital environment than ever before.”
Lia Nower, J.D., Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers University and lead researcher on this study, commented: “We are excited to partner with Kindbridge to build a standardized and effective treatment framework for problem gambling and video gaming. Kindbridge is the first treatment agency in the U.S. that is exclusively focused in these areas, and delivering treatment we can test for effectiveness fills an unmet need in this time of rapid expansion.”
Through the collaboration, Playtech is also providing Kindbridge with digital learning expertise and support from its Playtech Academy team to help build the Kindbridge Internal Learning Management System for therapists and internal staff. Kindbridge therapists undertake a thorough training schedule and Playtech is helping the team to digitise its content.