A cutting-edge app aimed at tackling the UK’s gambling problem is being developed in Sheffield.
Minal Jain along with her fellow University of Sheffield medical students Tejus Patel, Akshay Kumar, and Adil Nayeem, all aged 23, are building an app – called Bet On Me - which is aiming to change the way gambling addiction is treated on a widely accessible platform by 2020.
The charity Gamble Aware estimates that there are around 430,000 problem gamblers in Great Britain, with almost 2 million more people being considered at risk.
The Bet On Me app uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) – which is endorsed by leading psychiatrist Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones - to change the thought processes of gambling addicts, making them more aware of the triggers for their actions, and empowering them in restoring rational thought processes.
One of the key functionalities of the app is to use machine learning to identify when users are most likely to want to gamble, before suggesting activities that can distract them to help combat gambling urges.
“We want to create something that is driven by our desire to help people who desperately want and need help, and have nowhere else to go,” said Ms Jain, who along with her colleagues, has made the final of the Baldwins KickStart Young Entrepreneur Awards, where the winner secures a £20,000 investment for their business.