Optimism is an app that allows people to monitor their mood, their self-help strategies, symptoms and triggers.
- Optimism has a 'Clinician Dashboard' that allows physicians to follow their client's responses and get alerts for high-risk answers.
- Everything is customisable - you can add your own triggers or symptoms.
- You can sync from your iPhone to your computer and can access your data from anywhere online.
- In-app reminders can be set up.
- The app requires a log in with name, username, email and password.
- You can set an in-app password.
- The information cannot be accessed without an internet connection. This means that your data is stored on their server and not on your phone.
Whilst most people reportedly use it for medication around 1 in 10 are using it for CBT. Due to its customisation options it is a very adaptable app although it would require a substantial amount of time to set it up on an individual basis. The syncing between computer and device is a very useful addition and your information won't be lost if it is saved on their server. However, for those without easy internet connectivity this is a serious barrier to its use.
In terms of the feel of the apps I much preferred the Mac version. The iPhone app was quite cramped whilst on a bigger screen the interface felt much more easy to use and navigate. However, I couldn't enlarge the window on my Mac which seems to me to limit it slightly if it can only occupy a small section of the screen. I have great eyesight but would definitely need reading glasses if I was to use this a lot!
However Optimism has a lot going for it and seems to cover the security side as well as the customisation side. I will be following with interest their ongoing research with George Washington Uni into the results of using Optimism on the patient-physician relationship.