Apps to help distancing and NHS staff

Natural History Museum hall

Two apps supported by UKRI funding are helping people in the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Crowdless’ app enables safe and convenient social distancing

With support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the European Space Agency, social enterprise start-up Lanterne has launched a free app for iPhone and Android that will help people to observe ‘social distancing’.

Based on Lanterne’s core technology – designed to help people in conflict zones to navigate safely – the Crowdless app provides anonymised real-time data. It enables people to choose the best place and time to visit busy places such as supermarkets and pharmacies.

The app uses Google Maps and Google Places data alongside crowd-sourced information from users, who can report how busy the venues they visit are.

Safeguarding NHS workers’ mental health with apps

Big Health – which is supported by UKRI through the UKRI Challenge Fund – has given free access to its Sleepio and Daylight apps for NHS workers in partnership with NHS England.

The apps are designed to:

  • help maintain healthy and restorative sleep
  • reduce anxiety and worry
  • help users learn evidence-based techniques to address mental health issues when they arise.

Professor Colin Espie, co-founder of Big Health, and Professor of Sleep Medicine said:

NHS staff are working under enormous pressure whilst also experiencing significant changes to their lives at home as a result of COVID-19.

We built Sleepio and Daylight to help people effectively manage their mental health whether the challenges occur during the night, or day.

Managers and organisations who want to offer the app to their staff should email:

Last updated: 20 April 2023

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