Buddy App, UK
Linking lifestyle behaviour, physical health and mental wellbeing
Produced by Sidekick Studios, Buddy is a set of SMS and web-based tools to support involvement and self-management among users of mental health services. Clients use text messaging to keep a daily diary of what they are doing and how they are feeling, helping to spot and reinforce positive behaviours.
Buddy uses the daily status text updates as a way of complimenting traditional therapy. The therapist receives the information and is then able to discuss the various ups and downs the client has felt in week leading up to the session. Buddy also provides behavioural action tools that help users to reflect and understand their own condition. The client is also sent text message reminders about appointments and goals that have been set during the session.
Buddy believes the best outcomes are realised when formal professional-led services and informal people-powered care are brought together. Its aim is for the NHS to benefit from cheaper, accessible, consumer technologies – and, in turn, for technology design to both benefit from and support the human experience of professionals.
The Buddy App is designed to only be available through a therapist so its use is carefully managed and monitored. The aim is to free up more time in the session for the therapist to focus on goals and behavioural change while offering a rich insight into the clients life during sessions.
Buddy is currently being rolled out nationally to support Early Intervention in Psychosis services, and psychological therapy services for people with depression and anxiety.