Stu­dents de­velop app that aims to help gam­bling ad­dicts.

Yorkshire Post - Business - - VOICES -

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 two 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 Bow­denJones – 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.

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