Many questions remain about privacy, ethics, and clinical utility, but the fact remains, mobile is the fastest growing technology in human history.
Many questions remain about privacy, ethics, and clinical utility, but the fact remains, mobile is the fastest growing technology of its kind in human history.Here to discuss is John Torous, MD, clinical fellow in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and senior resident at the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Training Program in Boston.He chairs the Smartphone App Task Force for the American Psychiatric Association, has developed psychiatry-related smartphone apps for research, and published several researchÂ papers on the topic. Dr Torous was a recipient of the Outstanding ResidentÂ Award from the National Institute of Mental Health and will be leading a session on mobile mental health at the upcoming Institute of Psychiatric Services meeting in the Fall.Dr Torous reports no conflicts of interest concerning the subject matter of this article.Twitter: @JohnTorousMD.To view the slides in PDF format, click here.
In a 1992 study, subjects used mobile phones while driving to talk to their therapists. This is not recommended today!
In the US, 35% of consumers owned a smartphone in 2011. By late 2014, that figure rose to 58%.
Fox S, Rainie L. Part 1. How the internet has woven itself into American life. Pew Research Center.
Psychiatric patients also own smartphones at high rates. Graph Â©Torous et al. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health; 2014.
Source:Patient Smartphone Ownership and Interest in Mobile Apps to Monitor Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions: A Survey in Four Geographically Distinct Psychiatric Clinics
There are over 40,000 health and fitness apps available on commercial marketplaces like the Apple iTunes or Android Google Play Store. Image Â©DigitalStorm/Shutterstock.
Source:Powell AC, Landman AB, Bates DW. In search of a few good apps. JAMA. 2014;311:1851-1852
In contrast to the commercial space, there is less clinical research on smartphone apps for psychiatry.
Current app rating sites that may be useful include: PsyberGuide,Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Mobile Apps, and Health Apps Library