Thrive Mobile App

Computing & Wireless : Application Software

Available for licensing

Inventor

  • Elana Bizer , Counseling and Mental Health Center

Background/unmet need

Of pressing concern among university administrators are issues of student retention and success. Historically, predictors of student success in college have been high school academic performance (e.g., GPA and standardized test scores). However, recent research has shown that these predictors account for only about 25% of a student’s actual performance in college. Meanwhile, a new wave of research has begun to examine what accounts for the remaining 75% and discovering that factors such as self-awareness, mindfulness, and mood regulation--factors that underlie resilience--are more meaningful predictors of academic success. Thrive at UT is designed to not only introduce students to these factors but also provide them with experiential opportunities to develop these skills.

Invention Description

The Thrive app is built on an iOS platform and includes mini-documentaries of students, carefully distilled psychoeducation with practical advice, interactive exercises and daily notifications. In addition, there are visuals meant to inspire users, links to helpful resources, and platforms for sharing about the various subject areas both within the app and through social media.  

Benefits/Advantages

  • Today’s college population has embraced mobile applications, relying on them for both information and entertainment. Thrive at UT brings together content on a wide variety of topics which typically would require users to consult several sources, and it does so in a way that allows users to customize their experience to their unique needs.
  • While most platforms rely on users to actively decide when to interact with the application, Thrive at UT continues to engage users throughout the day with customized notifications. These notifications interrupt users’ daily routines and prescribe micro-interventions that, through regular practice, can lead to greater emotional resilience. 

Features

    As institutes of higher learning strive to retain students and prepare them for a competitive job market, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of allocating resources to foster non-academic factors. Factors such as social connectedness, mindfulness, and mood regulation have been proven to help students face and persevere through the daily challenges they face on campus. While these skills can be taught in a myriad of ways, technological interventions are easily accessible and customizable. They are also cost-effective and reach students who are unlikely to seek help from others. 

Market potential/applications

Institutions of higher learning (community colleges, colleges, universities); startups interested in developing mental health apps  

Development Stage

Beta product/commercial prototype