With increase in the use of smartphones, tablets and iPads, the demand for different mobile applications is increasing. Mobile application development currently has an indispensable role in an individual’s personal as well as professional life. Can you believe that there are several mobile apps that are aimed at improving the quality of people’s lives?
The latest clinical trials at the University of Wisconsin have found that a new smartphone app called A-CHESS may help alcoholics overcome their addiction. Published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, the study found that participants using the application were 65% more likely to abstain from alcohol, compared to others who left the center without support from the app. The app’s name stands for Addiction-Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System.
The clinical trial involved 349 participants who successfully completed treatment for alcoholism in five residential programs. Half the patients used the A-CHESS smartphone app in addition to treatment. It was found that the A-CHESS app users reported fewer risky drinking days (days in which drinking exceeded four standard drinks for men and three for women in a two-hour period); moreover, the app users had a higher likelihood of consistent abstinence from alcohol.
A-CHESS has several features: peer-to-peer messaging and discussion forums among app users, guided-relaxation audio and video-chat with counselors. A GPS system in the phone can detect when a subject approaches a high risk area such as a familiar bar. The app also issues daily messages of support and once a week asks questions designed to help counselors assess the person’s struggle with sobriety. It provides access to online support groups and counselors. The app could soon become available to the public through online Android and Apple stores.
These sorts of applications are expected to turn around not only addiction treatment, but the entire healthcare field.