Drug maker Pfizer Inc. has introduced a mobile app to help to better monitor and cope with depression.
The app, called Moodivator, includes features such as a mood tracker. The tracker is a simple scale that lets patients throughout the day measure their emotional self-awareness and share the results securely with family or mental health professionals, the company says.
Other features of the app let users create goals and action plans relating to work, home, family and social activities. Moodivator is designed to help complement the treatment patients receive by allowing them to track their mood, set goals and establish routines that can help support them in their daily life, Pfizer says.
“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,” says Dr. Susan Kornstein, a professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine who consulted on designing the app.
“Treatment for depression often includes a number of approaches such as talk therapy, medication, peer support and a personal wellness plan but it may be challenging for some patients to adhere to their treatment,” Kornstein says. Mobile apps can offer new ways to approach health management, encouraging patients to take a more active role in managing their condition, she says. A 2014 survey found that 70% of patients being treated for a mental health disorder say they want to use a mobile app to monitor their mental health on a daily basis.
“The option to set, track and achieve personal goals in the app ties in nicely with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques,” Kornstein says. The Pfizer app is available for a free download from the Apple App store. An Android version has yet to be developed.