Big Health launches mobile therapy app aimed at anxiety disorders

smartphone man
The Daylight app employs cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to teach users how to respond to stressors. (Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash)

Digital mental health developer Big Health has launched a smartphone app aimed at reducing feelings of worry and anxiety, the most common mental health issue in the U.S.

Developed in collaboration with Boston University, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Oxford and the University of Texas, Austin, the company’s app—named Daylight—employs cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to teach users how to respond to stressors.

“With anxiety and other mental health issues causing distress to millions and costing trillions worldwide, widespread access to effective solutions has never been more critical,” Big Health co-founder and CEO Peter Hames said in a statement.

In addition, the app includes input from filmmakers, animators and podcast producers, who helped design audio and visual components that Big Health describes as “personalized, lighthearted and upbeat.” The voice of the app is provided by Ellen Horne, executive producer of WNYC’s Radiolab program.

“By combining the expertise of world-leading scientists, animators and storytellers we’ve been able to develop digital therapeutics that respond to the human, emotional reality of these problems,” Hames said. Currently in a limited release, individuals can access Daylight through their employer or health plan, if they are covered.

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“Most people who need help with worry and anxiety don’t get it,” he added, with the company estimating that 40 million adults in the U.S. are impacted by an anxiety disorder annually. “Daylight is a scalable solution that aims to address that.”

Daylight follows Big Health’s first digital CBT offering, a sleep improvement program named Sleepio, which aims to help users overcome poor sleep habits without drug interventions.