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This post is sponsored by SheMedia and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. I have been compensated for my time, but the experiences and opinions expressed here are my own.
Finding the right mental health app in a sea of 10,000 estimated health and wellness apps available (yes, there are really that many) can bring its own challenges. Moreover, in my opinion, it’s the Wild West out there for freely available online apps. This is because anyone can create an app and say it’s good for mental wellness with limited proof to support that claim. So, how do you find the right mental health app for you? At a recent BlogHer Health panel sponsored by Otsuka, we got the 411 on some things to consider.
Consider What You Need from the Mental Health App
Wellness apps are intended to promote healthy lifestyle choices through things like teaching meditation skills, helping people stick to healthy habits, and providing general information and tips on how to lead a healthy life. If this sounds like what you’re looking for, a wellness app might be for you.
However, wellness apps are not considered treatments for a specific condition. Mental illnesses require treatment from professionals. With that said, some mental health apps may be a good companion to formal treatment.
There are tools being created that may provide support in addition to traditional medication. Digital therapeutics are unique from other apps in that they prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder or disease, often under a clinician’s direction, and meet certain criteria regarding user privacy and security, and provide clinical evidence that it works. These apps can fit into your daily life—they can be used at home, on the go, or wherever is most comfortable for you, potentially reducing some of the challenges or limitations you may experience with other forms of treatment.
Believe it or not, there are also apps out there that are prescribed by doctors and are created to clinically treat a medical condition. They can only be prescribed, much like traditional medication, and undergo clinical trials for safety and efficacy, and are ultimately cleared by the Food and Drug Administration.
Questions to Think About When Considering a Mental Health App
Apps aren’t “one-size fits all,” and to make an educated and informed decision on what may work for you, you’ll then want to look at:
- What science is this app based on?
- Are there any studies backing up the usefulness of the app?
- What are the ratings like for that particular app?
- What are the privacy policies for the health app? Does it protect your privacy?
- What security is in place in the app? Are any data that you enter into the app being kept securely?
At the end of the day, you should always look to speak with your healthcare provider about what might be a good fit for you, but it’s exciting to see the progress being made.
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OCTOBER 2022 01US22EUC0113
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