Buddy in Film
Posted on 1st March 2012 by Adil Abrar -
The usual thing for product demo films are explani-mations (explanation and animation - geddit). For one, we're kind of bored with those. But at the same time, we didn't think that would really captured the essence of Buddy, which is like a mini therapist that you walk around with you in your pocket, recording how you're feeling and what you're doing, wherever you are.
From a product strategy point of view, we designed Buddy to move away from the idea that therapy is something you do sitting at your computer, but instead can be something that can be integrated into your life. Which is important not just from an accessibility point of view, but because I believe we should try to normalise therapy, and not push it to the outer fringes of our lives.
As a result, when we came to make the film, we decided early on to focus on live action, real characters, real events - with the tool fitting around the action.
The other idea we were keen to communicate is that Buddy bridges the formal professional-led model of care, and the emergence of user-driven digital technologies, where people are managing their own health. From our time designing and building services in mental health, we feel the exciting point is where we can get these two worlds to come together. Where we bring digital innovation to the NHS to create new types of solutions, but also bring the NHS into digital technologies.
To elaborate, there are lots of mobile and web apps out there now, which are there to support people with health problems, particularly mental health. This is a good thing. However, our view is that there is no substitute for human intervention, particularly from clinicians with a wealth of experience. We're really interested in a model of public service delivery where we empower people with digital tools, but we also find light-touch ways for the innovation to plug back into formal services.
I'm getting really excited by this bridging of formal care and informal care (I would love to come up a term to describe it), and I suspect getting this right, will be the key to creating better, cheaper public services. It's not about doing it for them, nor is it about leaving people to fend for themselves. It's somewhere in the middle - and that's the space that we're keen to explore with Buddy. And the space that we tried to bring to life in this film.
Without further ado, here it is. Hope you enjoy it.