Mental Elf, a blogging website that provides mental health professionals with research and guidance, has released an app version for iPhone users.
The app is the latest development in a group of services developed by Minervation called the ‘National Elf Service’, which was launched in May and supplies research in other medical areas such as dental, diabetes, musculoskeletal, lifestyle and learning disabilities.
Mental Elf is available for a special introductory price of £0.69 in the iTunes store and immediately alerts users when the blogging website is updated. It also gives individuals access to the information when they are on the move.
Andre Tomlin, managing director of the company, has been working with mental health professionals for around 15 years in various roles at Oxford University and in the NHS.
He told eHealth Insider that many clinicians “don’t have enough time to keep up” with the large amount of research that is released on a daily basis.
“Around 30 or40 mental health policy documents are released every day and what we have found is that some mental health professionals just don’t know what to do.
“They don’t engage with the research and they feel very out of touch as they want to take up the research with their patients but they don’t know how to. So we created this blogging accessibility and found that mental professionals engaged with it.
“We wanted it to be engaging and accessible with user friendly language, providing them with a sample of what is out there and provide them with the opportunity to drill down further into the detail if they wish,” he explained.
Developed in partnership with mobile application specialists, MyOxygen, the website and app is primarily used by psychiatrists, psychologists, and nurses. However, according to Tomlin, patients and carers account for 15% of the platform’s users.
The app allows professionals to save their favourite blogs, make private notes on a particular article, share research with friends and colleagues and a complete archive of the hundreds of Mental Elf blogs.
The company is also in the process of developing apps for all of its National Elf Service content, with release dates set for October. A ‘commissioning elf’ site, providing similar research guides, is due to go-live in the autumn.
“We use evidence-based guidelines for what we publish and we always look for what we call gold-standard information for the sites. Many people feel out of touch and guilty that they don’t have the time to learn and read more about the subject.
“The time involved with sitting down with a journal is a couple of hours and that’s the problem as health professionals don’t have a couple of hours.
“So we provide them with a sample of what is out there and provide them with the opportunity to drill down further if they wish,” added Tomlin.
An android version of Mental Elf will be released in October. The introductory offer of the app will rise to its normal price of £2.99 once the promotion period is over.
© 2012 EHealth Media.
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