Uncompromising attitude to reliability and privacy
The app was designed by combining qualitative understanding, inclusive methods and iterative design. Healthcare professionals and therapy clients were involved in the design process, and the vision of the technical and conceptual solutions was constantly refined with the help of prototypes.
The therapists offered information on what kind of content and features could support the clients’ daily lives – without burdening the therapist outside the agreed sessions or other agreed forms of communication. The customers offered information on the right content and features from the perspectives of psychological security, information security and accessibility.
The design phase gave way to the pilot phase, where a working pilot app was created based on the understanding gained in order to gather feedback from therapy clients before packaging the actual release version. The web-based implementation method of the old app had proved to be insufficient in terms of reliability. Separate native versions for iOS and Android were therefore selected as the technical approach for the new app to make the app as reliable as possible and to minimise dependence on third-party software.
Mental health services and apps are of particular interest to hackers because the information they contain is especially suitable for extortion and doing damage. Both in Finland and globally, mental health service providers have been subject to high-profile security breaches. To avoid data leaks, a radical decision was made not to save any personally identifiable information about the clients outside the customer’s own smartphone. The service does not collect any user analytics or save the user’s actions or personal data in any back-end system. The app is also easy to use in your daily life without worrying about spying, because when using the app, the user can lift the phone to their ear as if they were making a phone call.
With Pocket Therapist, the therapist can encourage the client to practise the regulation of their autonomic nervous system and emotions outside therapy sessions as well. Pocket Therapist offers functional video and audio exercises in an easily accessible format, and the recommended exercises can be customised as the client’s therapy process progresses. Pocket Therapist also assists the client to identify factors that trigger stress and trauma symptoms, and to find suitable regulation tools for such situations, regardless of time and place. The app encourages the client to monitor the quality of their sleep and to record their thoughts, emotions and insights during the therapy process.
Pocket Therapist helps healthcare professionals meet growing demand
Thousands of clients have already used Pocket Therapist as part of their treatment relationship. The client’s quality of life can be improved between appointments, even when treatment resources do not allow more frequent therapy appointments.
Clients have found the use of Pocket Therapist easy and inconspicuous. When you get a sudden onset of symptoms, help is available to regulate them without the people around you paying any attention to what you are doing, even if you happen to be sitting on a bus. With Pocket Therapist, clients have been able to perform exercises that support the regulation of their autonomic nervous system outside therapy sessions at a time that suits them.