In «Their Experience» section – news from the United Kingdom. King’s College London has launched a new app. This is for people using substances or in recovery from addiction. The app, called «SURE Recovery», is designed to support people to track their recovery journeys and achieve their goals. The application is available for both iOS and Android. In addition, it is free.
It was funded by a grant from Action on Addiction. Also it had an additional financial support from the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre. The app has been co-designed by researchers, people in recovery, and the digital health* company Mindwave Ventures.
Application «SURE Recovery» overview
The «SURE Recovery» has been designed to help people track their own recovery journeys and achieve goals. The app has been developed with people at different stages of recovery. It is based on their ideas and feedback, resulting in six key features:
- Recovery Tracker: This feature allows people to track their own recovery by using the Substance Use Recovery Evaluator (SURE). Once completed, the app provides personalised text feedback and a score. People can also monitor how their scores change over time.
- Sleep Tracker: This feature works in a similar way to the Recovery Tracker. App users can complete the Substance Use Sleep Scale (SUSS) to monitor their sleep and receive personalised feedback and a score.
- Diary: This is a private space where people can record their thoughts and feelings.
- Artwork: The app provides a platform for people to share their own artwork with the recovery community. App users can submit their artwork for potential display in the home screen of the app.
- Naloxone: This feature provides instructions on emergency support, including the use of naloxone, in the event of a heroin or other opioid overdose. There are also informational resources, including a training video. This is for people who want to learn more about using naloxone in an emergency.
- Reading: App users have free access to the book. It’s called The Everyday Lives of Recovering Heroin Users. This book is based on the lived experiences of people in recovery.
Paul Lennon, one of a number of people from the London-based peer mentoring service Aurora who worked on the project from the beginning, said: «Being involved from the early stages means that people with direct experience of using substances can have a real sense of ownership of this app and its contents. I believe that making a commitment to use this app once a day could really help people, particularly people who are in early recovery. The app is easy-to-use and modern. It’s exciting to see.»
Professor Jo Neale from the National Addiction Centre, King’s College London, who led the project, commented: «We were developing tools and attracting interest from across the globe, but that interest was mostly from people wanting to monitor and assess their patients. We knew that people in recovery wanted the tools in an app so that they could record and refer to their own scores in private.»
Graham Beech, Chief Executive of Action on Addiction, said: «Digital platforms have an important role to play in addressing the growing problems of addiction and we were very keen to be involved in this important project.»
*digital health is a simple concept — using technology to help improve individuals’ health and wellness. It’s a broad and growing sector. It can cover everything from mobile health apps to artificial intelligence, from robotic carers to electronic records.
People who download the application will have the opportunity to participate in further research. They share their data with the research team and provide feedback on the app. These optional features will help better understand substance use, sleep and naloxone use. Potentially it will improve treatment. The team will also explore how the app is being used and how it might be improved in the future.