A new smartphone app has been developed by researchers which is aimed at helping middle-aged and older adults manage their mental illness and other chronic conditions all by themselves.
According to the study that has been published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, the app covers topics such as stress vulnerability and illness, medication adherence and strategies, and substance and medication abuse.
The app takes the patients through ten sessions over a period of three months to inform them about these topics.
“The use of mobile health interventions by adults with serious mental illness is a promising approach that has been shown to be highly feasible and acceptable,” explained lead investigator Karen Fortuna of Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in the US.
While making the app, the researchers first determined the technical abilities and needs of middle-aged and older people suffering from mental illness and designed the app and its content accommodating those needs.
Physicians will also be connected via the app and will be able to monitor app use, intervene when problems arise and recommend medication via the app.
“These technologies are associated with many advantages compared with traditional psychosocial interventions, including the potential for individually tailored, just-in-time delivery along with wide dissemination and high population impact,” Fortuna said.
According to the researchers, the app doesn’t require technical expertise and patients with even little technical abilities could use the app with ease.
“Nevertheless, the process of adapting an existing psychosocial intervention to a smartphone intervention requires adaptation for a high-risk group with limited health and technology literacy,” Fortuna added.