There’s an app for that: innovative mental health technology

2 minute read

The value of the global mobile medical apps market is expected to reach $111.8 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, and apps are becoming a central technology in mental health, as a recent awards shows

Sian Harrington

Woman on mobile phone

An app for employees that gives them personalised digital coaching to deal with common issues like being micro-managed, being undermined, moaning and gossiping as well as bullying and harassment has won the Mental Health in the Workplace Challenge at the AXA Health Tech & You Awards 2018.

Created by Emoquo, the app digitally replicates a coaching session using coaching questions, prompts and self-reflection techniques, giving you personalised and contextual guidance, based on input from over 25 coaches and therapists, about how to deal with your particular challenge.

Data from the app provides management with a real-time heat map, revealing insights into the issues employees are seeking advice on and, therefore, where the 'hot spots’ are. This allows managers to make proactive interventions at a group or division level, improve the culture and increase the emotional and mental wellbeing of their workforce.

The app was one of three shortlisted for the category at the awards, now in their fourth year and led by AXA PPP healthcare, which has listened to customers to discover health technology that helps with their common and often unmet healthcare needs. Working with innovation accelerator, The Bakery, the aim is to find innovators that have the potential to partner with AXA PPP healthcare, integrating solutions through its member health and wellbeing programmes. 

The Mental Health in the Workplace Challenge category has the objective to better support employees’ mental wellbeing and looks for solutions that can monitor day-to-day behaviours and flag up early signs of mental health conditions.

The two other shortlisted apps were the Sensiks Sensory Reality Pod and a real-time monitoring system from Performetric.

Sensory Reality Pod enables people to enjoy full-sensory experiences in a closed environment. pod provides sensory experiences designed to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety as well as more general relaxation in order to help the workforce with stress and burnout in the workplace. In the Sensory Reality Pod, audio-visual content (virtual reality, 360° video and film) is enriched with scent, varied temperature, air flow, vibrations, taste and light frequency, resulting in an immersive mixed reality experience. Feedback on stress levels is received from a biometric headband measuring brain waves, measurement of heart rate and skin conductance.

Performetric’s real-time monitoring system facilitates the management of mental fatigue in the workplace, aiming to improve the user’s physical and mental wellness, individual performance and productivity. The user’s mental fatigue is tracked by an algorithm based on several variables acquired from the user’s interaction pattern with their keyboard, mouse and trackpad. This interaction pattern will be specific to the task performed and can be adapted to each user and their user requirements. Performetric facilitates the monitoring of mental fatigue while providing recommendations for better workforce management, increasing employee retention and productivity.

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