A new smart diary health app, ‘Activity & Mood Diary’ by Ginsberg, launched this week on iPhone and Android with privacy paramount in the face of long-running criticism of data privacy standards around health and fitness apps.

Users can sign up to the service from their smartphone, log information about their mental wellbeing and physical activity and connect to other health and fitness apps. The app tracks mood, sleep, exercise, calories, alcohol and more, helping users to spot patterns in their behaviour and make informed choices to improve their day-to-day living. The release of the app comes after a successful open beta period during which several thousand people signed up to the web-based version of Ginsberg. While connectable to other apps and wearable devices, all data entered into Activity & Mood Diary remains completely private and cannot be shared without the consent of the user.

The app’s main features are: sophisticated and ‘best in class’ mood tracking; a focus on the diary format of the app, with connections and graphing developed with leading psychologists and psychiatrists, and; greater insights than those currently available elsewhere in the health app market. The Ginsberg team is committed to safeguarding privacy from the early development stages and on the back of recent developments like Apple’s ResearchKit launch last week, Ginsberg is well positioned to take part in the ongoing industry conversation around open health data.

Kate Ho said: “ResearchKit enables ‘citizen science’ and points towards a broader trend of individuals taking ownership of their personal data. People can choose to make use of their personal health data to improve their own wellbeing or ‘donate’ it so that it can be used in scientific research. Ginsberg supports this trend of personal dataset creation for mental health, empowering individuals to use their data as they see fit.”.

Ginsberg has developed the Activity & Mood Diary app with a close eye on the emotional web and the Internet of Things (IoT). In relation to the former, the team has focused on the concepts of the quantified self as a way to improve physical health and using them to improve emotional and mental health. On IoT, Ginsberg continues to explore how smart devices armed with advanced information about emotional and physical wellbeing translates to transferring data over networks.

Kate Ho said: “The emotional web is still a relatively underdeveloped facet of the Internet of Things but one that has enormous potential to enrich and improve our lives. We’re excited to play a part in shaping this future with Ginsberg and the technology we’re developing.”

The Activity & Mood Diary app supports Apple iOS7 and upwards (iPhone 4 and newer models) and Android 4.0 and upwards. Ginsberg is a partnership between the Scottish Government, NHS 24 and New Media Scotland to improve people’s mental wellbeing through new technologies.