Pfizer has launched a new app, called Moodivator, to help adults who experience depression.
Depression is considered to be one of the most common mental health disorders in the US; according to estimates, one in 15 adults (6.7%) experience at least one major depressive episode in any given year.
Living with depression can be an isolating, overwhelming experience, and impacts all aspects of a person’s life.
The new app intends to offer ongoing motivation in a simple and portable way.
Moodivator is intended to help complement the treatment patients receive by enabling them to track their mood, set goals and establish routines that can help support them in their daily life.
The Moodivator app is free and available to download for iPhones from the Apple App store.
Depression treatment often includes several approaches such as talk therapy, medication, peer support and a personal wellness plan; however, this can be challenging for some patients to adhere to their treatment.
Moodivator provides new ways to approach health management, encouraging them to take a more active role in managing their condition.
A 2014 survey found that 70% of patients being treated for a mental health disorder say they want to use a mobile application to monitor their mental health on a daily basis.
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine professor of psychiatry Susan Kornstein said: “As awareness of the magnitude and severity of depression continues to mount, technology like the Moodivator app represents a new and exciting frontier for helping people with depression.
"The option to set, track and achieve personal goals in the Moodivator app ties in nicely with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that I use often with my patients.
“The opportunity for patients to track and export their mood and goal progress in easy-to-read charts is also very useful, because the progress can then be shared with doctors to help inform care decisions.”
Kornstein helped consult on the app's design.
Mobile apps enable to help address important barriers to accessing real-time support for depression.
Designed to fit into patients' schedules and lifestyles, the Moodivator app makes use of a simple and accessible interface with customisable features.
Patients receive encouraging and inspirational messages in the app to help motivate them as they work to manage their depression.