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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

App to Improve Monitoring of Psychotic Patients' Mental State and Treatment Adherence

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Updates from a new mobile app allow doctors to urge psychotic patients to stick to their treatment plans.

A new mobile app developed at the Polytechnic Institute of Spain lets doctors remotely monitor their psychotic outpatients.


Researchers at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain have developed a mobile app that enables doctors to remotely monitor psychotic outpatients' mental state and improve their adherence to treatment plans.

Psychosis is a mental condition marked by the loss of contact with reality, which can range from benign hallucinations to more severe conditions such as schizophrenia. Adherence to treatment plans is a significant problem for those with the condition, with 70% of patients abandoning treatment altogether within six months.

The new app sends four types of messages to patients: reminders to take their medication, inquiries about their mood, information on the side-effects of their medications, and feelings toward the medication. The messages enable doctors to encourage patients to adhere to their treatment, and also to gather valuable information that enables them to alter the treatment so it better fits the patient's needs. The app also features an urgent contact button, which enables patients to contact their doctor if they think they are experiencing a psychotic episode.

The app already has been piloted for two months by doctors with the psychiatric service at Valencia's hospital.

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