Personalized E-Placebos Help Sufferers Recover

Personalized E-Placebos Help Sufferers Recover

A new way to feel better using nothing more than a picture and positive mental attitude.

Ross Brooks
  • 16 may 2013

The Placebo Effect is a well-documented, if not that well understood occurrence in which people experience the same healing effects whether they take a real pill or a sugar pill. Daniel Jacobs is so confident in this phenomenon that he has developed an app that doesn’t give you a pill – it just shows you a picture of one.

Placebo Effect – as the app is called – acknowledges that everyone is different and doesn’t just feature images of a pill. There is also a magic wand, communion wafers and other significant symbols depending on your preference. Currently about 12 percent of people choose the pill, demonstrating how much importance is placed on it in our society.


The app isn’t just for health problems either, it aims to help people generate more joy, energy, love or any other outcome you can associate with one of the physical representations. Jacob’s testing so far has shown that 39 people using the app self-reported an 31 percent increase in the outcome they were looking for.


Conventional wisdom leads people to believe that trickery is necessary for a placebo to truly be effective, but as more and more studies are undertaken, there is evidence to suggest this is not actually the case – adding validity to Jacob’s idea.

The company has currently raised just over $8,000 of its $50,000 target on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

Placebo Effect


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