Buddy, a digital app for mental health service users, is being rolled across the UK from today following a successful London-based trial. The smartphone app sends text messages and helps patients with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses to keep a diary of how they are feeling and what they are doing allowing them to pinpoint which behaviours are positive and could help in their journey to recovery.
Traditionally, mental health service users were encouraged to keep a mood diary but it is hoped that the new digital app will make this process more accurate and the simple online tools will allow users to check the patterns in their life and empowering them to make positive changes to their behaviour.
The health buddy is one of almost 500 digital tools proposed by Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, to encourage engaged and empowered patients. These will include an app for food allergy sufferers to scan bar codes on products in shops to warn them if they contain ingredients that would be dangerous to them.