A nation-first initiative between South Australian companies, Youthlink and Enabled, is set to change the possibilities of both the iPad and adolescent health services.
Adelaide, SA, May, 2010-- Youthlink, a Southern Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service for young people, are partnering with touch and interactive specialists, Enabled Solutions, to develop an unprecedented 21st century assessment tool on the iPad.
Youthlink is a unique service catering for 16-20 year olds experiencing significant mental health difficulties, such as depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety disorder and psychosis, often accompanied by drug and alcohol misuse. Ann Crago, Coordinator of Youthlink, said the idea came about after a successful SMS research project*, “Research is a core component of our service, we need to review how we do things to stay relevant and helpful. This age group is typically a very difficult group to engage, but we’ve found using the latest technology can keep them interested.”
The iPad app will replace paper assessment forms that client’s fill out on a regular basis to self-evaluate multiple facets of their health. This information is an important form of feedback and helps to track and demonstrate progress.
The app will have many advantages over it’s paper predecessors, including more efficient data management, and confidentiality benefits, but the aspect that Youthlink is most excited about is it’s ability to engage. “‘Boring’ is a word we hear a lot in this age group,” Ann said. “Using this technology will stop it from feeling like just another form they have to complete, and the colourful interface with visual demonstrations, as well as more accurate rating systems, will greatly increase interaction.”
Enabled Solutions, the cross-platform digital media agency specialising in interactive and touch who are developing the app, are also excited about the project. Grant Hull, Director of Enabled commented: “This goes well beyond the conventional uses of this type of technology, such as entertainment and e-reading. Instead, we’re using it to help connect with youth who are often socially isolated, and not used to engaging with others. I have long believed the most useful and interesting uses of these technologies are yet to be determined, and this app is a clear example of that.”
The interface will be very visually appealing and interactive, getting users to slide scales, resize objects and even spin things to help evaluate where they fit on the rating scale. It will also have sound, and visual representations of the information, including graphs and other illustrations of their progress from month to month. “As Ann explained,” Grant said, “telling someone they’re making progress is not the same as showing them the progress they’ve made - and it can be a real instrument of hope for them. We are looking forward to developing the interface for maximum engagement and impact.”
Enabled believe they are well positioned to take on the challenge. “We’ve been working in the interactive and touch arenas for years, and we’ve secured a good track record in iPhone apps. We’re also one of the first companies in Australia to own an iPad, which allows us to have a real headstart on this project.”
Youthlink are thrilled at the opportunity Enabled has made possible, allowing them to be extremely early users of the iPad.” It is wonderful timing, we are fortunate to currently be undertaking research exploring the clinical applications of technology to enhance our clients’ progress and recovery. We hope the outcome of the research will assist other clinicians and consumers.”
*The mobile and SMS research is awaiting publication in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
For additional information on Enabled or application development for the iPad Tablet, please contact Grant Hull or visit www.enabled.com.au
Enabled Solutions Pty Ltd
Enabled are a cross-platform digital media agency that takes brands, content and experiences to the next level of touch and interactive.
As touch, web and video experts, Enabled work with clients to reach new markets and potential by diversifying their promotion and distribution platforms, and increasing the effectiveness of their current ones.
Heralded as one of Australia’s brightest iPhone app success stories by Australian Macword, their touch capabilities encompass the latest platforms, from iPads, interactive whiteboards and other touch-screen devices through to interactive window signage. On the web they produce strategic and effective websites and applications incorporating SEO, CMS, Flash and social media. They also handle all aspects of video production and animation.
Enabled’s expansive skillset allows them to integrate each component across the different platforms to leverage from and add value to each other.
In operation for over 10 years, Enabled works with many of SA’s leading agencies, as well as working directly with clients on a state, national and international basis.
P: 08 8272 6658
Youthlink is a unique mobile mental health service is reaching out to young people living in the southern metropolitan area of Adelaide with early mental health problems. It was created with the aim of bridging the gap between child/adolescent and adult mental health services.
Youthlink was established in 2000 as a service within Flinders Medical Centre’s Division of Mental Health. The service is a joint initiative between Southern Child, Adolescent Mental Health Service and Southern Assessment and Crisis Intervention Service (ACIS).
The age group targeted by Youthlink (16-20 years) is often when many serious mental health problems first appear, but also the age when young people are unlikely to seek help, particularly from a mental health service.