Over the past few years there has been a tremendous boost of mental health apps available to the public, according to a study there are about 10,000 mental health apps. These apps offer a range of services, including meditation guidance, telepsychiatry, online therapy, and symptom tracking and management. Even though these apps have helped to raise awareness about mental health, encouraged people to take care of their mental health and it is also a boon for the people who cant easily access mental health assistance through traditional means, but many of these apps are not studied and backed by any professional health provider or therapist which makes it very hard to trust on these technological solutions of mental health.
So what do you need to know about these health apps:
Always look for well-studied apps
One should always check if the apps are studied properly and validated from a professional healthcare organization. The apps that use various technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine-learning and clinical monitoring are the most useful ones for the care of mental health. The app that was developed by Elvevåg and a team of researchers at the University of Colorado in Boulder,works by detecting day-to-day changes in speech patterns, which often coincides with fluctuations in mental health.
For example, shifts in tone or pace can be a symptom of mania and depression. Disjointed speech is a key symptom of schizophrenia. The apps that are studied and validated offer a range of services, including meditation guidance, telepsychiatry, online therapy, and symptom tracking and management.
Most apps aren’t backed by science
Most of the apps available to us are not clinically proven or aren’t supported or operated by clinical or medical professionals and healthcare organizations. Most of the healthcare organizations have their own website or apps with the name of their own through which they provide their services. These apps that aren’t backed by science can be used to maintain a healthy diet or routine, but relying on them for serious medical conditions can be dangerous. Also if an app hasn’t been studied or tested on people, there’s no way to know if it provides any real value.
Lack of understanding
People may feel uncomfortable and scared to open up to a technological app that just gives automated and fed advice and input. And also people feel vulnerable and insecure to share their medical records or history with an app as they can easily be hacked and the data can be misused.
People turn to these apps for a variety of reasons like: Some can’t afford treatment, others don’t have a way of getting to and from appointments, and some people’s symptoms are so severe they’re unable to function or leave the house. There is a need to develop medically sound, studied and validated apps for significant growth and improved access to health care. As a result, till now and in the future care for the mental health of a person falls into the hands of medical expert. Even though these apps can save money spent on appointments and medicines, they cannot be trusted with a person’s life.