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Monitoring patients' mental health from their smartphones

Developed by two University of Copenhagen students, a new web platform, 'Daybuilder', can ensure the day-to-day management of mental health

Two computer science students have expanded their bachelor thesis project to find a way to treat mental illness.

Daybuilder, developed by University of Copenhagen students Lasse Nørregaard and Philip Løventoft, helps those with chronic mental illnesses to monitor their condition through a process called ‘telepsychiatry’. Patients can self-register and update information regularly about their mood, medication, diet, sleeping habits, exercise, alcohol consumption, and other factors. Daybuilder then helps visualise the data for an easier overview of symptoms for both individuals and their clinical practitioners.

”Daybuilder is a collection of tools that makes treatment cheaper and more efficient, while also improving satisfaction with that treatment”, says co-founder Philip Løventoft.

Easy self-monitoring

According to their brochure, vast amounts of patients with mental health issues do not have an accurate recollection of their mood, daily activities and sleeping patterns. This creates doubts concerning their condition and the appropriate treatment.

The platform can be opened over a computer, smartphone, or used through SMS data entry, where patients can enter data into the system on a daily basis. Additional data can also be gathered with external sensors.

This means that it can be constantly updated and tracked, not only by practitioners, but by patients themselves. Patients can identify healthy and bad habits, view their progress through a clear and user-friendly interface, and become aware of changes in mental state.

Telepsychiatry reduces dropout rates

Daybuilder will also function as a communication platform, allowing clinicians and patients to interact via a secure video connection, a feature that is currently under development .

Through this, patients would not have to travel to a clinic for treatment, and clinicians will be able reach patients in remote areas. As a result, patients can comply better with their treatment, and drop-out rates can be reduced.

”The system will also provide cognitive behavioural therapy through pre-recorded videos and by making patients think about the data they enter”, says co-founder Philip of the upcoming video features.

Entrepreneurship pilot winners

When Lasse and Philip began this platform as their Computer Science Bachelor’s project in 2014, no one could have anticipated how successful it would become.

”Our motivation was to create software for a group of people that are not much in the focus and we picked people with depression as our target group”, says Løventoft.

This year, Lasse and Philip won a much sought-after entrepreneur funding called ‘Iværksætterpiloten’ (Entrepreneurship Pilot), or IVP. The IVP funding it provides them with mentorship and monthly cash grants for one year. The winners also receive a one-time payment of 35,000 Danish kroner, to be invested in business consultancy, equipment, and upgraded features.

Expanding to Europe

In light of this success, the ‘Daybuilders’ have high hopes for the future of their project. ”We expect rapid growth in 2015, as we expand our offerings and sales efforts in the Danish market”, Philip says.

A new version of Daybuilder will be launched soon, which features improved data tools and aims at a wider audience of mental health patients.

”In the longer run we are hoping that the company will support thousands of people and clinicians, not only in Denmark, but also in the rest of Europe”, Philip concludes.

See the Daybuilder brochure, aimed at the United Kingdom, and check out screenshots of the Daybuilder platform below.

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