Applications such as Triggr would make quality rehabilitation more accessible to all addicts who need it, regardless of their economic level.
From the homeless to the most successful executive can hide a secret. Anyone in the world can fall victim to a false “glorious” feeling that seems to take them to heaven itself. Addicts who at first recognize themselves as such are obliged to attend meetings of the type Narcotics Anonymous. However, traditional methods such as meetings, medication or rehabilitation centers prove to be effective for some and not for others. A survey shows that the 75% of the people who participate in this type of methods falls in less than a year. The reality to be accepted is that not everyone finds this type of traditional programme effective. A disorder that is also difficult to “self-recognize”” In fact, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the 29 million people who suffer from drug abuse disorders, only 1 in 6 receive treatment, that is, acknowledge being addicted. Within this bleak landscape, the technology that surrounds our day to day wants to be part of the change. In fact, from the BlogThinkBig.com here’s how scientists at the University of Surrey develop an ingenious method for drug detection through fingerprints.
Technology lands to question traditional methods of rehabilitation. In fact, some addicts like Tara Hedstrom, who has been battling her opioid addiction for 15 years, feel uncomfortable in the meeting environment where drug use seems to be glorified. In addition, from their own experience they see in technology such as mobile applications an alternative support, a friend who from the other side strives to support and encourage you in your worst moments. A personalized and instant follow-up that combats the physical and psychic desires of addicts.
In these circumstances, our “pocket computers” become the best allies for you to send your addiction to drugs. There are currently more than 165,000 mobile applications related to medicine. In fact, the group that leads within the medical apps, are those dedicated to mental health. Of all of them, Triggr lands to save the addicts. An application that not only seeks the ease to combat the day to day of addicts, but will be able to predict the time of relapse, thanks, once again, to the Big Data philosophy. Triggr records all the necessary data through the use of our smartphone. What we send, to whom we send it, the calls we make and where we are are patterns that the application collects, as well as the sum of the interactions that the user makes with Triggr. It should be noted that there is no spying on the contents of both messages and calls. The system focuses on the general activity data of our mobile. All this information feeds a series of algorithms capable of alerting the rehabilitation team and intervening to prevent a relapse of the addict.
Some implementation pilot projects have been carried out so far. From Google Store you can find one of them. Triggr Health: Reduce Drinking is one of them, and will help fight alcoholism. Its installation is free, although both the company and the customers have not specified an exact price on the monthly fee that implies its use. If even so, a comparison with medical cats that can generate an addiction and the diseases that derive from them were carried out, the result would be positive for Triggr. The use of this app would mean savings for all entities, whether public or private, responsible for covering medical costs. For example, in the United States admission to a rehabilitation clinic involves 16,000 euro per month. Applications such as Triggr would make quality rehabilitation more accessible to all addicts who need it, regardless of their economic level.
The application like any technology is available 24 hours a day, following step by step all its users, who are classified with a score related to the alert level. Triggr’s algorithmic patterns establish a scale from 1 to 10 among its patients, with the number ten being the maximum level of alert that announces an imminent relapse. The communications that are established with the users are via SMS or through the chat of the application. In contrast, Triggr’s team lacks also important signals such as body language, something only observable in person.
An idea with maternal instinct
John Haskell, co-founder of Triggr, says that the origin of the application appeared when he himself went through a bad stage in his life. Haskell had to deal with a manic depressive disorder that turned his university life upside down and because of which he did not finish any degree. But I wasn’t the only one who had to deal with this disorder. One of her college friends who suffered from a mental disorder and abused drugs came to think of suicide as the best solution. Just then the young woman received a call from her mother who reoriented her to a better life. Haskell, surprised by the chance of the call, decided to talk to his friend’s mother. She replied that it was her maternal instinct that alerted her to the bad situation her daughter was going through. Triggr’s co-founder explains that this maternal instinct can also be based on data, and that, therefore, it would be applicable to technologies with artificial intelligence. In the case of her friend, there were strange behaviors that denoted something happening to her, and most of them manifested themselves through her own phone, such as incomplete messages at midnight and hobbies that she left parked aside, such as playing Chained. Small actions can define us and even alert those around us, without waiting for the damage to be irreversible. Therefore, if the maternal instinct is based on data, why not take this concept to technology, being the data-loving discipline par excellence. Said and done, six years later Tiggr appeared, the application formed by algorithms that represent “that maternal intuition”.
Undoubtedly, the work that technology is carrying out in the field of mental health is very remarkable. In fact, from the BlogThinkBig.com we tell you how Artificial Intelligence is closer to fighting depression. The best possible doctor is in our pocket, available when, how and where we want.