Image | Flickr
Work, traffic, household problems… There are many things that can increase our stress levels every day. With the physical and psychological implications of stress, it is important to avoid becoming overwhelmed if we want to improve our quality of life. And of course, there are all kind of apps available to help us manage stressful situations.
Initiatives from entrepeneurs
The first of these is meQuilibrium, this app has managed to raise 9 million dollars (over 8,35 million euros) in rounds of financing. The company has developed a mobile stress management system, suitable for companies that want to distribute it among their workers.
How does it work? Employees install the package on their mobile device and then answer a series of 140 questions designed to evaluate their personality, habits and lifestyle. The service creates a plan of action for them that explains where the stress is most likely to manifest itself (the mind, body, surroundings..), the reasons why they could be feeling overwhelmed and what they can do to prevent these negative emotions from arising.
Image | Centered
Some private insurance companies offer these services as well. In America, the Health Care Service Corporation launched Centered, a stress combating application that is available in the App Store. Centered uses meditation as a relaxation method. The app recommends daily routines and fixed weekly targets. It even syncs with your iCalender to find free slots in your schedule suitable for meditation.
Official apps from the public sector and public bodies.
As well as the apps mentioned above, there are also apps that come directly from the public sectors and public bodies.
A good example of this is the work being carried out in America by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. “If we want to make a difference in health care we need to really reach the people where they are,” said David Cooper, a clinical psychologist at the Center. He went on to explain that in many cases it is not enough to see the patient only once or twice a week and that the apps allowed a different type of interaction.
Image | meQuilibrium
Some of the center’s work can be seen in the application PE Coach, for Android and iOS. The app was created for war veterans, many of who live in a state of tension owing to their wartime experiences. With PE Coach, they can record their feelings and troubles and send them to a doctor for analysis. According to the description, PE Coach helps to reduce the anxiety and fear associated with PTSD. As with many apps, PE Coach works as a complement to the work of the therapists, not as a substitute.
A report by PwC published November of last year indicated that the next five years will be key for health related mobile technology. Daniel Garrett, a member of the consultancy, affirmed that it is “fundamental to develop high quality health care”, at the same time he stated his belief that the combination of traditional medicine with new technology will create innumerable opportunities for entrepreneurs, doctors and patients.
In the field of stress reduction we can already see the first fruits of this coming together of technology and medicine, and it seems that the treatment of stress with apps is set to continue, and to prosper.