In a recent article, Nature raises concerns that ‘the technology is moving a lot faster than the science’ and many of the apps designed and marketed to help with mental health care are simply not tested. This leaves customer-patients vulnerable to apps which, at best, don’t work and could make their condition worse.
Of course, these apps do many things: some simply provide information, others network patients, clinicians and carers, track symptoms or provide strategies and treatment. This, the multiple types of mental health issues people suffer from, and the sheer number of apps available make the landscape challenging to assess.
Placebo controlled testing is expensive and time consuming and many small companies don’t have the resources to do this. In fact, my own research with the general app market shows that many simply don’t class their apps as health apps simply for this reason.
However, one app, Sleepio carried out a placebo trial before going onto the market and the resulting app is based on the latest peer reviewed science on sleep. So, it can be done.
Full article here.