Papworth enterprise key to new panic-aid app

AN innovative iPhone application has been launched to help people suffering from panic attacks, anxiety or stress by providing support, exercises and practical self-help tools.

Health Enterprise East (HEE), the NHS partner organisation for innovation based at Papworth Hospital, assisted with the Panic Aid iPhone app, which was devised by Joost Drost, consultant clinical psychologist at North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and developed by High Barn Ltd.

Available to download, the Panic Aid app takes the user through a series of steps starting with a choice of breathing and relaxation exercises aimed to alleviate anxiety symptoms as they happen.

Panic Aid works by putting a panic button on an iPhone that users can access when they start to feel anxious or begin to panic. This triggers video, audio and graphics, showing trained NHS clinicians who can help calm the patient through a series of therapeutic exercises and also explain what is happening.

The range of therapeutic support and information held within Panic Aid can be personalised.

As well as helping patients deal with panic and anxiety attacks, Panic Aid also brings clinically proven explanations, techniques and tools to help them reduce the impact and severity of such attacks in the future.

Robert Donald, HEE intellectual property manager, said: “The Panic Aid app is a perfect example of using current technology to deliver immediate help and support to those suffering from anxiety attacks, either as a self-help tool or in combination with other treatments.”