AIIMS Delhi develops mobile apps to deal with mental illness

AIIMS Delhi develops mobile apps to deal with mental illness
All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi has developed two mobile apps for patients suffering from chronic mental illness and their caretakers.

As the whole world is reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic, cases of anxiety and depression have gone up.

AIIMS has developed two mobile apps to deal with severe mental illness for patients suffering from chronic mental illness and for those who got the first episode of such symptoms. The two apps - 'Shaksham' and 'Disha' - are for both who undergoes first such episode of symptoms and for those having severe mental illness.

Mamta Sood, senior psychiatrist at AIIMS, told IANS, "We have developed two mobile apps -- Shaksham and Disha -- to deal with mental illness."

She added that the Shaksham app is for those suffering from chronic mental illness, while the Disha app will benefit persons who undergo first such episode of symptoms.

Both the apps have been developed in collaboration with the computer science departments of Indraprastha Institute of Technology, Delhi, and the University of Warwick, UK. The project was funded by the National Institute of Health Research, UK.

"The apps will be available for free public use from January next year. We are more concerned about the patient data to be used in the apps and once the data restoration is secured, we will launch it by January next year," Sood said.

"The apps will also send reminder to the care givers for medicines and other requirements of the patients," she added.

Asked about the mental problems faced by people during the ongoing pandemic, Sood said that an AIIMS research conducted on healthcare workers has revealed that 50 per cent of the healthcare workforce are facing symptoms like anxiety, depression and stress.

However, she added that having such symptoms and having the disease are different, as symptoms do not affect the patients, while disease affects all.