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September 16, 2016

Pfizer launched app to support individuals with depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders. In the United States, 1 in 15 adults has had at least one known depressive episode in any given year. Pfizer Inc., one of the largest pharmaceutical companies worldwide, has launched an app to motivate and encourage people to deal with their depression.

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Walking around with depression can give an overwhelming feeling of isolation and has an impact on all aspects of daily life. Many patients use their smartphone as a support in their treatment. The app Moodivator is designed to complement the treatment of patients by enabling them to track their moods, set goals and establish routines in their lives that can provide support in their daily lives.

70% wants mobile support

During treatment for depression often methods as meditation, counselling, Peer Support (support of like-minded) and a personal health plan are used. Today’s technology like this app offer new ways to encourage people to take more action in their own situation. According to a study in 2014 70% of patients with a mental disorder indicate wanting to use mobile applications to monitor their mental state of mind.

"As we increasingly become aware of the extent and severity of depression, technology such as the Moodivator app give a new and exciting way to help people with depression. The option to set, monitor and realize personal goals the Moodivator app aligns perfectly with cognitive behavioral techniques that I often use with my patients, "says Susan Kornstein, MD, professor of psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. She consulted Pfizer in the design of this app. "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."

Inspirational messages

Mobile apps have the potential to address key barriers and provide real-time support. Moodivator makes use of a simple and accessible interface with customizable features. Patients also receive encouraging and inspirational messages to motivate them as they try to manage their depression.
 
Moodivator is not a substitute for the treatment of depression, each patient should determine on their own with their doctor which treatment is best suited to them and decide with the doctor when treatment can be stopped. The app offers only support treatment. The app is free for download from the App Store by iPhone users.

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