Vast Majority Of Smartphone Apps Claiming To Help Mental Health Conditions Are Unstudied

Nature (4/6, Anthes) reports on the number of smartphone apps claiming “to help conditions from addiction to schizophrenia.” Even though “there is some evidence that empirically based, well-designed mental-health apps can improve outcomes for patients, the vast majority remain unstudied.” Psychiatrist John Torous, MD, chairman of the American Psychiatric Association’s Smartphone App Evaluation Task Force, said, “If you type in ‘depression,’ it’s hard to know if the apps that you get back are high quality, if they work, if they’re even safe to use.” Dr. Torous added, “Right now it almost feels like the Wild West of health care.”

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— “Mental health: There’s an app for that,” Emily Anthes, Nature, April 6, 2016.

Posted in In The News.