Students, non-profits, startups and policy makers gathered in San Francisco at YTH Live to talk about health issues facing our youth, and how technology could be the catalyst for change. Held over 3 days in the beautiful Kabuki Hotel in Japantown, the event brought together a group of highly engaged and mission driven individuals, all keen to learn from each other.

Social Code was honored to be invited to present three abstracts at the conference.

1. Apps that Tap into Your Health

In this session, I was joined by Dr. Julie Downs of Carnegie Mellon University to present our mobile apps and how they are impacting behavior change. I presented DrinkSmart, our app to help people cut back on binge (at-risk) drinking. Not suprisingly, the audience took great interest in the findings from the independent evalution conducted recently on DrinkSmart.

Results included:

  • Rise in drinking awareness amongst users by 31%
  • 35% of users drinking less than compared to before using DrinkSmart

Julie’s upcoming app had an incredible amount of research behind it. The video based educational tool will help young women take control of their sexual health. The preview of the app looks very promising and I’m very much looking forward to its launch later in 2015.


2. What Works for Tech in Youth Health: The Facts

A very lively discussion took place in this panel session, where I had the opportunity to share our learnings from GoalPost, our app providing a social way to quit smoking. The audience was especially interested in different research methodologies and how to maximize participation amongst patients.

My fellow panelists, Tiffany Montgomery from University of California and Shiyi Zan of Partners Healthcare both had deep insights in the research space. It was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn from their experience, as well as take part in a two-way dialogue with the highly engaged audience.

3. Creating Safe Spaces to Delete Bullying

This was the largest panel session, with four panelists taking part in a conversation about technology, and how it is affecting bullying and depression amongst our youth.

I presented Code Blue, our app to help young people experiencing bullying and depression access immediate support. All of us agreed that technology is an enabler; it’s the relationships between young people and their peers, parents and support network which is the core foundation to addressing youth mental health.


To find our more about YTH and their work, visit their website.