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min read /
February 3, 2024

Former NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh Joins Big Health Advisory Board


Former NHS Medical Director Sir Bruce Keogh Joins Big Health Advisory Board

Former NHS Medical Director, Sir Bruce Keogh, has joined the Advisory Board of digital therapeutics company, Big Health, to drive forward the adoption of evidence-based, mental health digital solutions within the NHS. The London and San Francisco-based company behind Sleepio – the digital sleep improvement program – has brought Sir Bruce on board to provide strategic advice on expanding its availability within the NHS.

Knighted in 2003 and currently Chair at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sir Bruce joins Big Health after serving as the most senior doctor in the NHS for over a decade. Big Health is on a mission to help bring millions back to good mental health by working with the NHS to secure nationwide coverage of Sleepio.

Approximately one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, with medication the most common type of treatment.1 Although the NHS has increased availability of other treatments for mental health issues such as anxiety and depression through the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, one in 10 adults suffer from chronic insomnia in the UK. 2,3 Although Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is recommended as the first line treatment for insomnia by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP), CBT for insomnia is not yet widely available within the NHS. 4,5

Sleepio, Big Health’s first program, is an automated, highly-personalised digital sleep improvement program based on CBT. It has the world’s largest evidence base for any digital therapeutic. Backed by 37 peer-reviewed clinical papers including 8 gold standard randomised controlled trials (RCTs), Sleepio is well-established as an effective program for improving sleep. As a result, Sleepio is recommended by independent clinical guidelines bodies, including NICE and BAP.4,5

Founded by ex-insomnia sufferer and NHS Innovation Fellow, Peter Hames, and sleep science expert, Professor Colin Espie (University of Oxford), Sleepio was launched in 2013 and is currently available to 12 million people across the UK and already used by over 70,000 people in London, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, where it is free at the point of access via the NHS.

Sir Bruce Keogh, former Medical Director of the NHS in England said:

“The value of digital therapies is being increasingly recognised, not just because they work when based on sound evidence, but because they are very easily accessible when needed. That’s why I’m pleased to be joining Big Health who have developed Sleepio according the highest standards of clinical evidence and scientific rigour to underpin a proven, effective and safe digital therapy which addresses a remarkably common problem.”

Professor Colin Espie, Co-Founder of Big Health, said:

“We want to have the best people in healthcare backing us in our mission to help bring millions back to good mental health. Whilst Sleepio is already available via the NHS in some regions, having Sir Bruce as part of the team will help us to reach more people who are seeking improved sleep and help them to achieve better mental and physical wellbeing as a result.”

About Big Health

Big Health’s purpose is to help millions back to good mental health, with digital therapeutics – fully automated and highly personalized behavioural programs for mental health. Big Health’s lead products are Sleepio™ for helping individuals address poor sleep; and Daylight™ for helping individuals address worry and anxiety. Designed by leading clinical experts, Big Health’s solutions feature evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques and are backed by 33 peer-reviewed research studies including 8 randomized controlled trials. With offices in London and San Francisco, Big Health’s products are used by large multinational employers and major health plans to help improve sleep and mental health. To date, more than 12 million people have access to Sleepio or Daylight. For more information, visit us at

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During the COVID-19 public health emergency, Sleepio and Daylight are being made available as treatments for insomnia disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), respectively, without a prescription. Sleepio and Daylight have not been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of insomnia disorder and GAD, respectively.

1. Qaseem, A., Kansagara, D., Forciea, M. A., Cooke, M., & Denberg, T. D. (2016). Management of chronic insomnia disorder in adults: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Annals of Internal Medicine, 165(2), 125-133.2. Riemann, D., Baglioni, C., Bassetti, C., Bjorvatn, B., Dolenc Groselj, L., Ellis, J. G., … & Spiegelhalder, K. (2017). European guideline for the diagnosis and treatment of insomnia. Journal of Sleep Research, 26(6), 675-700.3. Wilson, S., Anderson, K., Baldwin, D., Dijk, D. J., Espie, A., Espie, C., … & Sharpley, A. (2019). British Association for Psychopharmacology consensus statement on evidence-based treatment of insomnia, parasomnias and circadian rhythm disorders: an update. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 33(8), 923-947.4. King’s Technology Evaluation Centre. (2017, November 9). Overview: Health app: SLEEPIO for adults with poor Sleep: Advice. NICE. Espie, C. A., Kyle, S. D., Williams, C., Ong, J. C., Douglas, N. J., Hames, P., & Brown, J. S. (2012). A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of online cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic insomnia disorder delivered via an automated media-rich web application. Sleep, 35(6), 769-781.6. Carl, J. R., Miller, C. B., Henry, A. L., Davis, M. L., Stott, R., Smits, J. A., … & Espie, C. A. (2020). Efficacy of digital cognitive behavioral therapy for moderate‐to‐severe symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder: A randomized controlled trial. Depression and Anxiety, 37(12), 1168-1178.

DOC-3046 Effective 11/2023