Psychedelics Apps: A New Wave in Data Collection & User Experience
The recent surge of interest in psychedelic medicine and research efforts has given rise to a truly 21st-century advent: psychedelic mobile apps and data tools.
From bonafide research tools to psychedelic simulation platforms, technology companies are bringing solutions to the table to aid researchers and operators in their work, while helping guide consumers and patients through their psychedelic journeys.
Doubling-Down on Data
This week, Vancouver, B.C.-based MINDCURE announced a partnership with Speak Ai, to enhance the company’s iSTRYM digital therapeutics technology platform. In addition to its synthesis and clinical research, the company is pursuing technology to collect, monitor and use patient data.
The opportunity, the company says, is around supplying clinicians with patient feedback and data to inform diagnosis and treatment. Speak Ai, an established Canadian-based technology company, will work with the company’s iSTRYM platform, taking unstructured patient data to create structure and metrics for platform integration.
‘We will be building custom integrations with Speak Ai for the iSTRYM platform that allow us to marry sentiment with biometric data, location, weather, and a variety of other variables to help optimise our integration protocols and provide individuals with quantified care at scale globally, all with the stated goal of advancing Mental Wealth, rooted in data,’ MINDCURE CEO and President Kelsey Ramsden said in a press release.
And recently, Las Vegas, NV-based Global Trac Solutions announced the execution of a joint-venture partnership with digital mental health start-up PsycheDev Inc.
The makers of a forthcoming self-guided psychedelic trip app, PsycheDev, say their work aims to capitalise on growing momentum within the digital mental health sector.
Further, Global Trac says their work on PsycheDev sets up potential to establish a revenue stream through the intended monetisation of the application following its launch later in 2021.
‘A big takeaway for me from the COVID-19 pandemic is the stress, anxiety and depression it has regrettably triggered for millions of individuals across the globe,’ said David Flores, Global Trac Solutions, Inc. CEO in a January release.
‘And with this, beyond just the current COVID-19 consequences, we have seen an increase across society in the interest in digital tools designed to promote self-care, and more specifically nurture and strengthen the core of our mental health and mental well-being. The PsycheDev application and platform is something that I believe has the opportunity to satisfy this growing demand for digital tools and that has the ability to provide the guidance and techniques needed to fully maximize specific resources and factors around us for the benefit of developing and sustaining a strong and healthy psyche.’
Guided Trips and Reflections
Another Canadian company, Field Trip, has made substantial investment in a digital user platform. The aptly named Trip app allows ‘Trippers’ to document their at-home psychedelic trips. Free to download on the App Store and Google Play, the app aims to guide users through their experiences with the ability to follow up and integrate their insights post-trip.
‘As we began building out our network for Field Trip Health centers across North America, we saw that there is a large population of people who were keen to start or were already actively working with consciousness expansion and emotional processing through meditation, breathwork and legal natural or medically prescribed products. But they were often doing so by themselves and without proper support or understanding of best practices,’ Ronan Levy, Field Trip’s Executive Chairman said in a press release announcing the app’s availability.
‘So we decided to take the custom-developed protocols that we were building for our Field Trip Health centers and make them available to a much broader audience. While Trip is not intended to be a substitute for properly supervised medical and psychological care, it leverages our best-in-class tools, and makes them available to anyone who may be working with consciousness-expanding practices.’
Marrying data-backed research with microdosing, Quantified Citizen and MAPS have collaborated to conduct the world’s first mobile microdosing study.
The study on the cognitive effects of microdosing psychedelic substances provides participants with a downloadable app that poses one-minute questionnaires each day for three months. Participants are asked to self-report on the substances they’ve dosed (if any), their moods and habits.
The purpose of the study is to gather quantitative and qualitative data of both a microdosing and non-microdosing group to gain a better understanding of the effects of microdosing on brain performance and mental health. The results of the study will generate hypotheses for future research and provide an improved understanding of the effects of microdosing, which may lead to better safety and maximise potential benefits.
And while psychedelic-assisted therapy apps continue to emerge, a few companies are investing in the creation of psychedelic-inspired platforms.
On the pure experiential side, user apps such as Lumenate and Wavepaths focus solely on the psychedelic journey – no psychedelics required.
Lumenate offers an app it claims can mimic the experience of psychedelics. The start-up says it aims to ‘make impactful subconscious exploration more accessible than ever before’ by guiding users through sessions punctuated by stroboscopic light sequences and purpose-composed music. The designed sensory stimulus, the group says, takes users to consciousness somewhere between deep meditation and classic psychedelics. Each session is bookended with intention setting and integration, to replicate a traditional guided psychedelic experience.
Wavepaths, on the other hand, claims to inspire a psychedelic-esque experience through music alone. Designed in-part by Imperial College London’s Department of Brain Sciences’ psychedelic researcher, Mendel Kaelen, Wavepaths aims to serve therapists, as a tool during guided sessions, and patients, as a tool for their own self-exploration. The app is currently in beta, accepting sign-ups for testing.
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