The Buddy appWe are for ever searching for the next technological phenomenon, a way that technology can make daily tasks more efficient, or new gadgets for entertainment. Invested interests in technology span across all sectors, including health services.

Healthcare apps

A recent development which has encouraged excitement within healthcare is the Buddy app. It is a self-contained program which aims to support and improve psychological therapy services.

The app aims to respond to and resolve frequent problems experienced in therapy sessions and find ways to support client recovery. For example, clients can find it difficult to recall an entire week in detail including thoughts and feelings, so one of the app’s features is a daily diary. It allows the user to record moods and activities effortlessly and efficiently so that this information can be discussed at upcoming sessions. This allows the client and clinician to take full advantage of their time and identify a suitable treatment or behavioural technique earlier.

Users can use text messaging or the online tool to record what they’ve been doing and feeling. Texts can also be sent to the client to ‘check up on them’ and prompt them to make their diary entries; this in turn can reduce feelings of loneliness.

The app also encourages clients to suggest their own agendas for upcoming sessions and to analyse their behaviour patterns so that they can identify where they could improve. It is a valuable motivational tool which allows clients to be proactive in speeding up their own recovery.

Buddy is becoming increasingly available through clinicians’ services nationwide with it becoming part of the service within numerous NHS trusts.

The creators of the app, Sidekick Studios, describe Buddy as ‘21st century therapy’ which pretty much sums it up. We can hope that this app marks the path for many to come, and for money to continue being invested in finding tools for the health care profession to keep improving the services it provides.

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