How does Tomo work
Tomo is based on Behavioural Activation (BA), a well established therapeutic technique. BA helps people understand the relationship between their behaviour and their mental wellbeing, and how to use habits to improve their state of mind. Tomo learns about the habits which are linked to your wellbeing. It regularly prompts you to create and sustain the ones that will keep you healthy, and gives you feedback about how well you’re doing.
Each time you choose something to do, Tomo will ask you to share a photo to verify you’ve done it. Tomo shares this photo anonymously was a few randomly selected users. This works as a virtual buddy system - where the community supports each other by checking each other’s progress and sharing all the little wins throughout the day. Sharing is really powerful for reinforcing new habits and since everything is anonymous and distributed, it’s available 24-7.
How are my habits checked?
Your photo is sent to a small number of users until 3 have checked and verified it. The photos are never saved on anyone’s device, and are totally gone as soon as they’ve been checked. Other users can’t follow you, like, share, or comment on photos. Tomo will detect anyone trying to screenshot or otherwise save a photo, and those users will be warned, and then banned.
We have a team of moderators who help verify photos, and also respond to any photos that are reported for inappropriate content.
Who can see my photos?
The small number of other users who check each photo will only see them temporarily. Our moderators are able to monitor all the photos being shared. No one is allowed to remove or save your photos.
Who can see my data?
Team Tomo can see anonymised usage data, but do not receive any other information about you. We use this data to improve Tomo, and help it learn what habits improve wellbeing. We do not share or sell user data to any third parties.
We pool data into meta-data from our community of users. We make sure individual user data cannot be pulled out of this meta-data. Currently this data is only used by us to improve the Tomo.
Which photos should I verify?
When looking at another user's photo, look for anything that shows that they've done, or are in the middle of doing, the task in the title. It doesn't have to be direct - remember that no one can upload photos they've previously taken. So if a photo was taken from a park, then that person has probably gone outside and gone to the park. They're also out of bed, in a public place, and you can reasonably assume they've done a bit of walking.
It's important to give people the benefit of the doubt. The most important part of sharing photos is the act of sharing little achievements. So, if someone shares a photo of a glass of water for the 'drink some water' task, assume they're gonna drink it. Your role as a member of the Tomo community is to join people on their journeys - not to be the habit police.
What do I do when I see an inappropriate photo?
Why was my photo not verified?
Usually, this is because the photo didn’t clearly show you completed the habit. Try to make sure that your verification photo shows the habit in progress or completed. Some examples and ideas:
If your task was ‘get out of bed’, you could share a picture of your bed, or you could take a picture showing that you’re not in your bedroom.
If your task was ‘share a meal with someone’, you could share a picture of your plates, or your table.
What is a PHQ-8 score?
The Patient Health Questionnaire was developed by Pfizer inc. to assess symptoms of mental and physical health. The PHQ-8 is a version of this specifically for mental health. Scores range between 0 and 24. The higher your score, the higher your risk of depression and other mental illnesses. The PHQ-8 questionnaire is designed to help medical professionals diagnose depression, taking the questionnaire through Tomo is not a replacement for a mental health assessment.
Where can I go for more help?
The NHS Choices guide to mental health services gives a list of mental health services that you can access in the UK.
Mind, a UK charity, runs a confidential helpline between 9am and 5pm, at 0300 123 3393. More information on their services is available on their website.
You can also contact the Samaritans for free, 24/7 by dialing 116 123.
I have another question
Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org , and we’ll do our best to help!