ORCAS App Offers Mood Boosting Help for Depression Sufferers

EUGENE, OR (December 20, 2012) – ORCAS, a health innovation company that combines science and technology to create self-management products that improve well-being, introduces MoodHacker,a mobile health application available for smartphone, tablet and desktop tools. The app, currently in beta version, is designed to help workers who suffer from depression to not only boost their moods, but boost their productivity levels as well.

“Depression is a costly disease, from both a financial standpoint and in terms of employee productivity,” explained Theresa Mulvihill, Director of Product Development at ORCAS. “MoodHacker can help decrease these costs for health plans and employers, who can easily integrate the app into their health coaching or Employee Assistance Programs.

Based in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and positive psychology, MoodHacker makes it easy for the user to report their mood and receive “just in time” coaching through text messaging. Uplifting articles and videos with mood boosting tips are woven into a simple, social, engaging and persuasive user experience.

In addition to measuring consumer engagement of the beta version, ORCAS is currently conducting a randomized controlled trial to measure for change in depressive symptoms as well as productivity, absenteeism and presenteeism at work. Results will be available in 2013.

A Boost of Hope for Depression
“This app provides an anonymous way for people to understand and improve their mood and features evidence-based approaches for managing mood such aspositive activity and mood monitoring, journaling, and sharing with a social support network,” Mulvihill said. “MoodHacker offers inspiring videos on topics including positive thinking, gratitude and mood, activating your strengths and creating healthy habits around sleep, food, exercise and mood. These are all strategies that can help people who suffer from depressive symptoms to better understand their emotions and the steps they can take to feel better.”

Depression: The Startling Facts
Depression strikes more than 19 million Americans. Arecent study published in Health Affairsand featured on Kaiser Health News examinedmore than 92,000 workers from seven different companies. The study cited depressionas the most costly among ten common risk factors that are linked to higher health spending in employees.All of these risk factors, which also include obesity and high blood pressure, were associated with nearly a quarter of the money that is spent annually on the health care of the workers, or about $82 million of $366 million.

The MoodHacker beta version is available on the Mozilla App store now and at http://moodhackerapp.com.

For more information about MoodHacker and how to integrate this type of mobile health technology into your business objectives, call (541) 349-4845, email info@orcasinc.com or visit http://www.orcasinc.com/products/moodhacker.

ORCAS is a health innovation company that creates self-management products to improve physical and emotional well-being. ORCAS brings more than 20 years of experience combining behavioral science with state-of-the-art technology to create a simple, social and fun experience for the user. Many ORCAS programs are funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) through the Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program. All ORCAS products undergo scientific validation studies. Our mission is to create a culture of health, one life at a time. For more information about ORCAS, visit http://www.orcasinc.com.