Mental Health Application: Digital Treatment in the Smart Age

Adamo Software
  • Date Published
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Thanks to technology, people can now get mental health treatment directly from their phones, which has led to a growth in mental health applications.

As the frequency of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety continues to rise, clinical experts have turned to mobile apps as therapy aids. Because of their familiarity with such technology, many clinicians believe that mental health applications can be beneficial for people who are dealing with mental health issues.

Technology-based solutions have the potential to play a key role in the future of mental health care by increasing access to mental health support and services and lowering obstacles to clients seeking treatment. The effort to bring mobile app development technology to our sector is still in its early stages, and healthcare software development companies should keep a careful eye on how the trend progresses.

Mental Health Applications: Global Mental Health Status and Interference

Mental Health Global Statistics: Impacts of Mental Illness

Every year, millions of people suffer from mental health disorders, as illustrated in the following statistics.

  • A 2017 study estimated that 792 million people had mental health issues, accounting for 10.7% of the global population. Anxiety (284 million people, 3.8% of the population) and sadness (264 million people, 3.4% of the population) were the most common problems.
  • According to 2015 data, mental diseases are responsible for 14.3% of all deaths worldwide, or nearly 8 million deaths per year.
  • According to the World Health Organization, depression can lead to suicide, which contributes to over 700,000 deaths every year. Suicide is the fourth highest cause of death among those aged 15 to 29.
  • A COVID-19 pandemic study found an increasing global prevalence of mental health issues. Globally, 28.0% of people have depression, 26.9% anxiety, 24.1% post-traumatic stress disorder, 36.5% stress, 50.0% psychological distress, and 27.6% sleep difficulties.

With technology at our fingertips, there are numerous useful applications. Healthcare software systems are becoming more widely available. There is still a stigma attached to discussing mental health issues. Because of this stigma, reaching out for help may be difficult. This is where a mental health mobile app development may help.

Technology and the Booming of the Mental Health App Market

What Are Mental Health Applications?

Mental health applications are essentially healthcare software systems that can be accessed via a smartphone. Numerous mobile health apps are available that deal with everything from self-harm and depression to worry, fear, and stress.

These mobile technologies can assist people to better manage their emotions, control negative thoughts, and express sentiments. They can even help prevent self-harm and thought of suicide. Some mobile health apps teach people how to breathe properly and play soothing music. Others can even be used to implement cognitive behavioral therapy tactics for recording and controlling fears.

The Rise of the Mental Health App Market

Texting or chatting through social media is far more comfortable for many people than talking to someone personally. Mental health applications make it easier for people to get care in a way that is less daunting than visiting a therapist in person.

Venture investors and healthcare software development companies are profiting from the rising demand for therapy apps and other mobile mental health solutions. According to the APA, mental health app sales are expected to reach $3.3 billion by 2027, increasing 20.5% a year from 2021. Private equity businesses are investing more in mental health applications due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The excitement surrounding the prospects presented by healthcare apps has increased dramatically. Many of these apps are available in both the Android and iTunes app stores, with more increasing each year.

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Mental Health Application

Technology and the digital world we live in offer a great deal of potential to both you and mental health physicians. However, there are some problems that they pose. The following are some of the pros and cons of mental health apps.

Advantages of Mental Health Mobile Apps

1. Convenience: Easy to Access

When using mobile health apps, mental healthcare treatment can occur anywhere and at any time, making this a handy kind of therapy. If a patient has trouble making in-person visits, it is beneficial to use a mobile healthcare software system, whether support is needed, say, in the middle of the night or while commuting to work.

2. Lower Cost: Use the App at an Affordable Price

Psychiatric care or counseling is frequently far more expensive than a mobile health app. Indeed, mental health applications are frequently free or cheaper than traditional psychiatric care and counseling. Lower medical expenditures may be the primary reason why many consumers prefer mental health mobile apps to traditional care.

3. Anonymity: The Identity of the Patient Is Kept Confidential

Another important reason why many people around the world may prefer to use mental health mobile apps instead of seeing a therapist is anonymity. Many people would rather manage their mental health discreetly, without involving others, than share their personal and private information with a professional. For many people, the anonymity of mobile health treatment choices may be desirable. If you have a good idea for how to help people with mental health problems, you can hire a healthcare software development company to make a life-changing app.

4. 24-Hour Support: Ongoing and Immediate Service

Others require more immediate support for their mental health. Some people may require both an in-person therapist and mental health mobile apps to maintain their mental health. Those with social anxiety, for instance, may find it difficult to attend a party. In such situations, using an app for mental health may significantly reduce stress.

5. Consistency: High Percentage of Engagement

Finally, mental health applications have a high percentage of engagement. Patients rarely use their mobile applications under therapeutic supervision, which means they can be encouraged to utilize these apps themselves instead of following a therapist’s recommendations. Furthermore, usage prompts, real-time involvement, and game-like interactions can all lead to increased engagement.

Disadvantages of Mental Health Mobile Apps

1. Insufficient Evidence From Experiments

When compared to other types of self-help intervention, there is a dearth of experimental evidence for mental health applications. No clinical trials have demonstrated the usefulness of these apps. The review of new clinical treatments typically requires considerable time and other resources, whereas new mental health applications are continuously being released, which means that there are no established procedures for reviewing them. Scientists are just unable to keep up with them.

2. Over-Reliance and Self-Diagnosis

Certain mental health mobile apps promise lofty results. Users should be aware of these apps because treatment frequently entails more than just logging on once a day for a set period. Moreover, users who become overly reliant on these apps may become reluctant to seek expert assistance, even if they need it.

3. Only Focus on a Single Type of Mental Illness

Many people who suffer from anxiety or depression have more than one ailment, yet many mental health applications manage just one condition. While counseling provides a more comprehensive treatment plan, mental health mobile apps might be overly simplified and ignore key aspects of a person’s mental health.

Key Steps to Choosing a Mental Health App

It would be simple if we could only give you a comprehensive list of apps to avoid, as well as those to suggest. Unfortunately, mental health mobile apps are dynamic: some are updated and improved regularly, while others are left to become outdated.

For now, we just want to give you a snapshot of what to consider when choosing a mental health application, which you may find helpful.

Step 1: Examine the App’s Privacy Settings and Controls

First, as in other medical situations, consider your privacy. Consider whether the app tracks your actions and with whom it shares your data. Second, how is the app safeguarding your data? Do you have authority over this data? Can you remove it?

Unmaintained apps may cause complications. If the last update on an app was over a year ago, its security settings may be out-of-date.

Because of this, the first and most crucial step is to learn about the privacy and security of the healthcare app you’re considering using. You can do this by examining a mental health application’s privacy policy or terms and conditions. If you can’t find such a policy or terms and conditions, that’s a red flag.

Step 2: Check Whether the App is Likely to be Helpful

The second step is to assess whether the app you’re considering is evidence-based and has a solid clinical basis. You must thoroughly investigate an app’s claims. If the claims seem exaggerated, find proof. Science-backed evidence is what matters.

While assessing the quality of evidence can be difficult, some red flags to look for include the following.

  • The supporting evidence has been provided solely by the company selling the app
  • The evidence supports trivial claims (e.g. the claim that people can use the app)
  • The evidence is not about the app at all (e.g. claims that therapy, in general, works)
  • The supporting trial, or trials, does not, do not, include a valid control group.

Sometimes, knowing where the app came from and if it was created by a reputable company or healthcare organization can be helpful. Better yet, leave the app store and ask your friends if they’ve tried any that they have liked and found helpful. If you have a mental health clinician, they should also be able to give you advice.

Step 3: Assess the Usability and Appeal of a Good Mental Health App

This third step is about selecting a good mental health app that you’ll enjoy using and stick with. This is important because 95% of consumers stop using mental health apps within 15 days.

You should try various apps that have features you want. Aesthetics, interactivity, and user communication will influence your decision to continue using an app. How likely are you, after all, to return to an app that has a frustrating or time-consuming feature? If your answer is ‘no’, try something else.

Step 4: Determine Whether an App Fits with Your Other Mental Health Support

The final step you should take is to think about how an app will fit with other types of mental health support you may be receiving. If you have a mental health problem, such as insomnia or social anxiety, you should look for an app that addresses that issue.

As you begin your search, remember that there are thousands of apps on the market, and the most popular apps, in spite of their popularity, may not be the best choice for you. Instead, test a few apps over several days, then decide which ones are the best.

Final Words

In a world of events causing despair, anxiety, and other stress for many people, additional mental healthcare solutions are needed to help patients with serious mental illnesses. As healthcare becomes more digitized and clinicians communicate with one another through digital technologies, it is critical to embrace mobile healthcare software systems to treat mental health.

Adamo Software, a leading healthcare software development company, anticipated that the education industry would see an increase in software development in the future.