Even before the corona crisis, we had this idea of improving remote therapy. The main goal was to improve insights for the therapist and open up new methods of helping patients. It started out as a general toolset for video therapy, but thorughout the last week, this idea changed quite a bit and got more and more specific. We ended up with something we're quite proud of.
What it does
Commissura helps children and young adults with behaviour therapy. Since most mental disorders are diagnosed in these young age groups, this was the most sensible approach for us. (See https://doi.org/10.1007/s00115-013-3961-y)
As a patient, you often get measures and tasks from your therapist, you're supposed to tackle on your own. This can be as simple as writing down three things you're proud of today or more complex tasks like a meditation session or exposing yourself to your fears. To help them with that, Commissura disguises these tasks as challenges within a game. They progress by solving the challenges configured by their therapist and earn rewards by completing them. The therapist gets feedback about the results and can prepare the next face-to-face session accordingly.
How we built it
We used web technologies for the prototype based on React and Node.js. The final version of the app should be written in a native language however.
Challenges we ran into
It took a while to find the right approach to tackle this problem. We had a general idea in mind, but at the start it was more of a general solution with a bunch of features tacked on. Nothing special. The combination of youth therapy and gamification while including the therapist was the focus we needed. It also took a while to get the big picture of a complex topic like the therapy process.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We have worked together with therapists and psychologists to get a better picture of their needs. When we worked out this approach they were really enthusiastic about the future of this project and gave positive feedback, which showed us we're on the right track.
What we learned
We learned quite a bit about the therapy process. While talking with specialists, we got a clear picture about this complex area.
What's next for Commissura
We want to continue with this project by pitching it to the german government, health companies like the red cross and insurance companies to get the funding we need to build this into a real product. We also need to refine the process on which challenges make sense to include and how they would work in this gamification approach.
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