MedGizmo: Brain Wearables and Applications (Part II)
This is second post on the subject. The first one is MedGizmo: Brain Wearables and Applications (Part I)
In this part we briefly discuss mental health wearables – are they worth using?
According to IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics Patient Adoption of mHealth mental health apps comprise almost a third of the disease specific mHealth apps
The most commonly addressed conditions being autism, anxiety, depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Alzheimer’s. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are expected to continue to rise and estimated to cost the U.S. $461 billion by 2025, more than stroke, hypertension and diabetes. Autism apps making up the biggest category within mental health reflects a broad set of initiatives around management of autism.
However, the research that was recently published (and widely cited in the media) in JMIR mHealth and uHealth Magazine has these astonishing results:
Only 4% of the 700 apps identified in our search provided mindfulness training and education. Though many apps claimed to be mindfulness apps, most of them were not. While the reviewed apps scored an acceptable median MARS score, very few scored high, indicating that the quality of the apps can be improved. The lack of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness apps needs to be addressed.
The results of research triggered many discussions, like this one:
Majority of mental health apps based on flimsy evidence, if any at all, research finds
However, the issue, in my view, relates to general situation with medical applications' – very low quality. One example: RESEARCH ARTICLE mHealth in Urology
Despite the increasing Mobile Health (mHealth) market, this is the first study that demonstrates the lack of expert participation in the design of Urology apps, particularly in apps designed
for the general public. Until clear regulation is enforced, the urological community should help regulate app development.
So, basically, despite availability of big number of mental health applications – the most viable way to treat mental health conditions – is to use professional help.
It is impossible to describe all of existing applications, however, we may offer some links to recent media, that provide advice:
- VA App Store - more than a dozen apps for Veterans, Caregivers, and VA Staff.
- 13 Mental Health Apps That Could Change Your Life
- 7 Awesome Mental Health Apps You Should Be Using
- Is Your Phone Your New Shrink? These 5 Apps Improve Mental Health
- Anti-Anxiety Apps: Can They Really Sort Out Your Mental Illness?
That concludes the second part of our series. In the third part we plan to discuss some specific wearables for brain and mental health.
Our first post is MedGizmo: Brain Wearables and Applications (Part I)
Image by MedGizmo