Global pharmaceutical corporation,  Pfizer Inc., has launched a free iPhone app, called Moodivator, to help motivate and encourage people who experience depression.

According to the WHO, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with an estimated 350 million people suffering from the mental health disorder that can impact all aspects of their life.

The new Moodivator app was developed in response to the increasing number of patients, especially those who suffer from chronic conditions like depression, turning to their smartphones to supplement treatment they receive.

Treatment for depression often includes a number of approaches such as talk therapy, medication, peer support and a personal wellness plan – however, it may be challenging for some patients to adhere to their treatment.

Moodivator was designed to help complement the treatment patients receive by allowing them to track their mood, set goals across different categories, including work, home, family or social activities, and establish routines that can help support them in their daily life.

The app uses a simple and accessible interface with customisable features, and patients also receive encouraging and inspirational messages to help motivate them as they work to manage their depression.

Advances in mHealth apps like Moodivator are offering new ways to approach health management, encouraging patients to take a more active role in managing their condition.

“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 behavioural therapy techniques that I use often with my patients,” said Professor of Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Dr Susan Kornstein, who helped consult on the app’s design.

“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,” concluded Dr Kornstein.

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