London, UK, July 10, 2018 — The charity organization Autistica and King’s College London now launched the Molehill Mountain app to help autistic people with anxiety. The idea for this app originated from a Hackathon event held at multiple Deutsche Bank locations around the world, connected to each other with video conferencing and other collaboration technologies.
How was the app designed and developed?
Back in 2016, Deutsche Bank held a 24 hour Hackathon event with multiple developer and innovation teams. More than 150 people were involved around the globe. At that time they choose Autistica to be one of their “Charities of the Year” in 2016 and 2017. The target of this particular Hackathon was to build a prototype app which would, in some way, support autistic people to get through their everyday. You can watch a video about the Hackathon below the article.
All results, concepts, IP, and code, was then donated to Autistica. Together with funding from the Maudsley Charity, the ‘Worshipful Company of Information Technologists’ Charity, and The Pixel Fund, as well as support from autistic people, the Molehill Mountain app, was developed by Autistica and Emily Simonoff from King’s College London. The development team also consists of Zoe Peden, Equaleyes and Auticon with product strategy and UI design by Joanna Alpe from We Love Inc.
What is the app about?
Based on the press release of Autistica between 40 and 50 percent of all autistic people suffer from anxiety disorders. The Molehill Mountain app was designed to help users understand the root causes of anxiety itself and provide them with feedback on the reasons for their symptoms to better manage the same. The overall experience is aimed to last for 14 daily check-ins, but the app can be used for a longer time just as well.
Users are able to “track their worries” and how they are feeling with the help of a daily log. In a gamified way, the users open the app and “play” Molehill Mountain to identify and capture anything that might bother or worry them. When completing challenges, the users is provided with tips for dealing with anxiety and autism. All progress throughout the usage time builds stats and can also be shared with a person they trust and want to share their results with.
The iOS version of the Molehill Mountain app is now available in the iTunes app store, and an Android version is planned to launch “at a later date”.
Thoughts from people involved
Amy, who experiences anxiety, helped to develop and test the Molehill Mountain app. She said, “I enjoyed getting involved – it is great to have my needs heard. I am pleased that research is being used to create a practical tool to help people like me cope better in everyday life.”
The chief executive of Autistica, Jon Spiers, also shared his views, “Too often autistic people receive inappropriate anxiety support and sometimes they’re unable to access any support at all. We wanted to offer something practical that can be used whenever and wherever it’s needed. Many autistic people have a real affinity with tech, and our autistic testers and developers told us that personalization was important, so an app seemed like the perfect solution.”
YouTube: 24 hour Hackathon at Deutsche Bank
Photo credit: All used images are owned by Autistica and were provided to us for press usage.
Editorial notice: All information used for this report and quotes included were sourced from a press release that was provided to us by Autistica.