Therapy apps for children and adolescents

Children and adolescents, who have to be treated permanently in the course of a chronic disease, represent a special target group from various points of view. Frequently active interaction with their own illness and the accompanying acceptance of necessary therapeutic interventions is low. The result is low compliance and a suboptimal therapy success.

Smartphone and tablet apps can complement the therapy of children and adolescents and increase their compliance. Properly implemented, the apps provide low-threshold access to patients, which is difficult to achieve through traditional approaches and materials. A further positive aspect is the possibility to process the data acquired in the apps directly electronically and without media breaks.

Designing a successful app for children and adolescents means taking into account the specific needs of the target group. An application that competes with various chat and gaming apps on a daily basis needs to be oriented towards the youngsters basic needs like “fun” and “communication” and has to feature an easy-to-use interface.

Current gamification approaches combine capturing and reminder functionalities with game elements to promote a regular use of the app. For example, points can be collected when capturing data and and highscore lists can be conquered.

Through the Apple and Google stores, an app can be made available to the patients quick and easy. If the user group needs to be limited and data is collected and exchanged, a portal application is deployed, in which unlock codes can be generated and verified. Personal patient data collected in the app, e.g. names, medication receipts and mood curves are transferred to the portal via a secure connection and stored in an encrypted database.

The portal application features a user and role concept that ensures that only authorized persons (physicians, practitioners etc.) get access to the data stored.

The Condat therapy apps for children and adolescents have been developed in cooperation with “Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin”.