A new smartphone app launched by Minervation, a UK-based design, technology and social media consultancy specialising in evidence-based healthcare information, offers a daily digest of the latest medical research on mental health.

The Mental Elf app for iPhones builds on the Mental Elf website (www.thementalelf.net) launched by Minervation last year and the umbrella National Elf Service (www.nationalelfservice.net), a cluster of sites for healthcare professionals that round up research, policy and guidance in areas such as mental health, dentistry, diabetes, learning disabilities and musculoskeletal conditions.

An Android version of the Mental Elf app will be available later in the year. The original app was test-launched through the Apple store in late July and has now made its official debut at a download price of £2.99.

Impossible task

According to Minervation, keeping abreast of the latest medical research is “proving an impossible task for busy mental health professionals”.

As things stand, they would have to read some 20 medical journal articles each day to stay up to date, setting aside around six hours a day to do so.

The Mental Elf app delivers “only high quality up-to-date research”, filtering out “irrelevant or biased, unreliable evidence” and sending an easy-to-read summary directly to the user’s smartphone each day.

“All it takes is three minutes of your day to keep abreast of all the very latest mental health research developments,” comments André Tomlin, managing director of Minervation.