BreakingPatterns inMental HealthCare

  • Health
  • Progressive web app
  • UX/UI Design
  • Strategy
Mobile parnassia Polly app

Quick overview

Extensive pilot

50 clients


  • health


  • Back-end Development
  • Front-end Development
  • UI/UX Design
  • Strategy


  • Absolute privacy, each bracket in the database is encrypted.
  • Operates as a progressive web application on smartphones.

Patterns of Life

Patterns of Life is a research project initiated by the Parnassia Group and Redesigning Psychiatry. The objective of this project is to enhance the diagnosis of mental health issues, aligning it more closely with clients' needs and the treatment choices that must be made during intake. Additionally, the project aims to make better predictions about the course of mental health issues. The research team developed a new form of intake using a blended care application named Polly. Label A then collaborated to build this app, providing clients with insights into the patterns in which they find themselves stuck. This application is currently undergoing a pilot study at PsyQ.

Polly app mockup of the homescreen
Polly app mockup of the icons
Woman holding phone horizontally, showing the polly app

An application to unravel the patterns causing their challenges

We all encounter obstacles in our lives from time to time. When facing such challenges, it's often not possible to pinpoint a single cause; multiple factors influence and perpetuate the problem. Sometimes, a pattern can be so persistent that individuals, on their own or with the support of loved ones, cannot break free from it. In such cases, it's beneficial to work with a professional to unravel the pattern and understand what is needed to overcome it.

This paradigm inspired the development of Patterns of Life: a research project exploring new forms of co-creation between clients and healthcare professionals, focusing on diagnosis and prognosis. The Parnassia Group, Redesigning Psychiatry and Label A designed a new intake process combined with an application for this purpose. In this new design, clients are assisted in preparing and sharing their stories with healthcare professionals and they begin to unravel the patterns causing their challenges. This allows clients to gain insights early on and share them with their treatment providers, empowering them to have more control over their situation. The healthcare professional also gains a better understanding of the client, facilitating improved treatment choices. Additionally, the application includes a comprehensive questionnaire to collect data for researching transdiagnostic patterns.

Polly app mockups of the pattern cards overview and detail page

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice

The technical implementation of the application posed certain challenges. Privacy for clients had to be ensured at every step, given the highly personal nature of the questions asked. At each stage, clients can choose whether to share their answers with their treatment providers. The underlying database is encrypted at the bracket level to further secure privacy.

To fully align the user experience with clients' perspectives, each sprint was tested with clients. This allowed for a careful balance between providing complete information and maintaining an engaging user experience. A clear onboarding process was established, explaining each step without oversimplifying. The patterns revealed from the answers remain personal until the client decides to share them with the treatment provider.

Woman holding phone with the polly app showing the pattern cards

Facts & Figures

The application, named Polly, operates as a progressive web application on smartphones.

The application was developed in 12 weeks with a team of 6 developers, including a scrum master.

To ensure absolute privacy, each bracket in the database is encrypted.

The application is being tested in a pilot at PsyQ with 40 to 50 clients, refining design choices, research questions and the app's functionality.

Parnassia's vision is that healthcare will always be a human endeavor; technology, such as this blended care application, can support and ease the process.

"Through the support of the Polly application, as healthcare professionals, we have more time to understand clients' stories in their context together."

Marloes Verhaar, Clinical Psychologist at Parnassia Group
Polly app showing the horizontal screens of creating the pattern

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