The National Health Service (NHS) in Scotland has started offering adults access to digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia.
Big Health, the creators of the Daylight and Sleepio apps that adults in Scotland will be given access to, said that their apps are now part of the NHS services. The Daylight and Sleepio apps are two examples of apps that are used to help manage mental health problems.
Anxiety refers to the body's response to stress, while insomnia is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for people to fall asleep.
NHS Scotland Gives Adults to Digital Therapeutics
From today, adults in Scotland will have access to digital therapy for anxiety & insomnia, as part of the NHS services.— Scot Gov Health (@scotgovhealth) October 13, 2021
This combined with traditional services will allow people to access the right treatment at the right time.
The NHS in Scotland is now offering adults access to digital therapeutics for anxiety and insomnia. Specifically, adults can now access the Sleepio and Daylight apps as part of the NS services.
"From today, adults in Scotland will have access to digital therapy for anxiety & insomnia, as part of the NHS services," the Scottish government announced via Twitter.
According to a post on the Twitter account of Big Health, the creator of the apps, the company "is proud to support @scotgov's world-leading mental health strategy."
Scottish adults in all 14 health board areas of NHS Scotland many now use the apps to self-refer or visit their GPs in order to receive cognitive behavior therapy, per a report by MobiHealthNews.
Access to the apps was first made available to five NHS health board areas in Scotland last year.
Per the MobiHealthNews report, "Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) found that 71% of patients who used Daylight achieved remission from anxiety and 76% of patients who used Sleepio achieved clinically significant sleep improvements."
Related Article: 12 Mobile Apps That Help Relieve Stress And Anxiety
Anxiety and Insomnia
Healthline defines anxiety as the response of a person's body to stress. There are different anxiety disorders that exist. These include phobias, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Symptoms of general anxiety include rapid breathing, restlessness, increased heart rate, difficulty falling asleep and having trouble concentrating.
On the other hand, insomnia is defined as "a sleep disorder in which you have trouble falling and/or staying asleep" by WebMD. Insomnia can be a short-term or long-term disorder. Acute insomnia or short-term insomnia can last from a period of one night to a handful of weeks. Chronic insomnia, according to WebMD, can happen thrice a week.
Symptoms of insomnia include irritability, having trouble falling asleep, waking up earlier than your usual time, and having trouble concentrating.
Using Apps to Deal with Mental Health Concerns
The NHS Scotland's access to the Daylight and Sleepio apps is the latest example of apps being used in order to detect, manage, or even treat mental health concerns.
Another example of this is the Moodbeam Wellness app, which can detect changes in emotions and feelings. Last year, an app called HearMe was launched to help people deal with the pandemic and isolation by providing emotional support.
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Written by Isabella James