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TCS launches mental health companion app to relieve stress and anxiety

While fitness apps and gadgets have become popular, Tata Consultancy Services is building an app for tackling mental health issues. This is the first time TCS is building a platform for general users. The tech company is in talks with hospitals, insurance companies and larger enterprises to rollout the app.  

The aim of the companion app for mental health is to use a gamified approach to reduce the severity of anxiety and stress of users at the initial stages. At present, the app is undergoing clinical validation, in partnership with a top Indian hospital. At the same time, TCS is testing the application’s usability by conducting a beta test for the application internally with 900 employees at TCS. The company will subsequently reach out to hospitals, insurance companies and partner organisations interested in improving employee well-being for proof of concept studies and subsequent monetisation. 

According to Rajiv Thanawala, Innovation Evangelist and Senior consultant at TCS, the app aims to use a gamified approach, digitising existing clinical evidence to reduce anxiety and stress to create correct mental health interventions. “There are over 300 apps for mental health in the market; however, it is very rare for consumers to continue using them for a long time. Our gamified approach will drive usability and compliance for the app.” Interventions include games such as laughing so that a drooping flower revives or blowing clouds away to relieve stress. According to Thanawala, the app collects information to assess the mental state of the user every day and recommends games, habits and routines to alleviate stress and anxiety. In case the digital interventions do not deliver results, the app recommends users to seek clinical help.

Thanawala said the app has been receiving interest from many partners, especially in the field of medical sciences. This app could allow clinicians to monitor patients outside of the hospital or insurance companies to incorporate this application to reduce the stress and anxiety of their customers so they are less likely to seek clinical help. 

Vivek Balaraman- Chief Scientist at Tata Consultancy Services, said this app is a part of TCS’s division utilising quantitative social science for business applications. “This work comes under the ambit of a research area called behaviour business and social sciences launched 10 years ago. The aim was to take a multidisciplinary approach to solve a gamut of behavioural problems.”

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