Should You Trust An App With Your Mental Health?

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Is how are people using their smartphones as tools right now and how is that kind of slowly changing over time I mean it's a circus using this tool for mental health or tools for anything tools for mental health okay so people are using their their smartphones as tools for mental health and a lot of interesting exciting and the first wave I think what we're learning is certainly there are not to help out with the category and there may be up to ten thousand of them if you try to estimate the number there's no real official count because I'll come and go they get deleted but I'll be say ten thousand dental health laid out your mood trackers their symptom trackers there is medication Cocker you can measure quantify a lot of things after stand to live the clearance of mental health it also affect can deliver services they can help deliver therapy they can deliver mind Paul that state can deliver different aspects of treatment remotely the war also learning is people are using apps aren't explicitly mental health topics to to help to mental health some people are using social media out you're kind of how it works section to be more connected to reach out to people some people are using apps for exercise and fitness and that certainly can be benefiting their mental health some people using apps to kind of protect themselves dig into situations where they feel at risk of a relapsing intriguing more alcohol or they feel unsafe kind of quickly reach out to people that the safety net so we're seeing people using these to kind of help wanted Terter symptoms help intervene kind of have interventions under some help that two people hello wait to exercise help health safety net so it's a really broad way that people are using about that it's always the whole thing yeah it seems like it's you know you mentioned ten thousand have seems like there are so many options out there for people to use to get help for any number of things I mean you mentioned fitness and wellness and all these different types of apps are there any particular ones that are kind of rising to the top in popularity when it comes to mental health you know it's a really good question saying what are the most popular or most like mental health topics and hard it's tricky because the apps themselves are always updating and changing or if you think that your own phone how many times and after the one stop date and sometimes the Quebec almost every week so much everybody it's always a very dynamic landscape and what to talk about the one week it may be a completely different out next week to say how they look different what also tricky to kind of see what the best opportunity to hard to say you know what is the best anti depressant or what is the best type of therapy and you would say well it probably depends on the person the contacts and so the old mess what would match the in some ways they can kind of be the same with dental health cool thank you could say what something that really is going to to maps to someone and the right tool and in some ways star ranking so even rankings on I tunes are and what sort of it shows up first the search selection as far stars it had a water views that doesn't really tell you much about hell the kind of story like to tell about that is you're used to be a blood pressure out and what you do is you kind of put your finger over the kind of home screen on your phone and the adequate so your blood pressure is great you're doing a fantastic job and no matter what you put your finger and don't matter who it always is so your blood pressure is still great you're doing even better job basically the opposite the gimmick it's just that every time you have the best blood pressure world good job and Alcott really high reviews people says the greatest apnea my doctor tells me I'm not doing well if you to watch my diet it is absolutely great I had almost five stars thousands of reviews all positive in the end if you can just tell it was it was not a useful operators of giving people wrong information and the point being folks about she done studies we've looked at kind of the medical quality of detox and medical utility and show that doesn't really quarterly or mac chopped to what the star ratings are or what the number of user reviews so I can kind of give you some ideas popular but just because it's popular doesn't really mean you're going to kind of know what's going to be medically or psychiatrically useful for you from subway is it can be a little hard to say what is the top back because one these things are always changing into we don't really that the stars can be a little bit misleading and the number you can be a little bit misleading absolutely yeah so it what I'm gathering and what kind of kind of seems important to mention is that you shouldn't be fully relying on an app it could just be another tool in your toolbox and just because a lot of smartphone users says that the app is great it doesn't mean that your doctor would say it's great necessarily exactly or even your friend your parents in other your child it's it's hard to know right either such there somebody's tools out there they all work so differently do the option of study that our group did we collaborate the group in Australia to block talk institute and we actually looked at what are the medical claims around mental health issues out from age with you we D. opt for description three out may say no helps reduce depression and will minimize anxiety and then we did is we have to follow up those claims we kind of went to the library went on the internet we said Hey Kendall claims be backed up with evidence of the after saying it does this thing doesn't really do it and what we found was only have about two percent of the outside she would back up the claim of some type of evidence you can imagine percent not a large number that means ninety eight percent of our kind of our they're not bringing any accidents are crucial you why they should earn your trust order kind of may be exaggerating their claims are kind of extrapolating a little bit I don't think they're trying to mislead people per se but it's certainly the case where you can't really trust everything you're seeing on there and one reason I think that's important for everyone listened to think about is a lot he dropped me look like that a collapse they may have a picture of phone a white coat in the hospital in the backround ambulance and it's a but really very they if you read the fine print it says you know we're a health and wellness you still who cares of the health and wellness topics of medical after the difference becomes legal not a health and wellness out doesn't have to follow all the medical privacy rules that the government has set in place to kind of keep your medical data I've been here if it's a health and wellness center it's kind of like posting something to internet formed up publicly opened the rules are much more promising about what happened to your daughter who sees your data who gets the actions that a lot of these medical out again I even I'm using the word right there lawyers out that look like they're better collapse actually health and well without it because of that they're not really supporting U. as the user of the any of the protections that you kind of are expecting your gas I see okay so yes so it's important for our listeners to know to just kind of approach with caution don't plunge into the deep end on these apps in obviously people are very sensitive about their their medical history all of that sensitive information and so when you're given the absolute that information it's important to to be careful and know where that information is going and also just be cautious of the apps so I mean clearly there are some risks that kind of coincide with the benefits aside from potential you know sharing of information or data or confusing a medical lab with the health and wellness AB are there any other risks that all users should be aware I know I think we kind of touch from earlier but clearly directly benefit to using this tool to return extra tool kind of in your tool kit of things that will kind of help you but I think the thing is if especially the new diagnosis your new symptoms are not sure what's going on it's best to talk to your your family kept their family practice doctor a psychiatrist and therapist because sometimes things that feel like depression or anxiety can have medical causes underlying you get before you kind of say Hey this a psychiatric I want to try to digital pop from the tree that you really want to know what you're treating the most important thing because sometimes there can be say a hormone if your thyroid and I can look just like depression so you don't want to kind of be using one of these pop forms when the diagnosis of the match and I think if you do find one is popcorn beautiful it's worth calling a treatment provider that you work with again be it a primary care doctor family doctor or therapist or psychiatrist Hey I'm using this this is why I like it that's what I'm doing it's important that kind of you don't want to fight with your care you don't want to outsource part of your care here and no one else that kind of is overseeing your medical care or kind of even a family member knows all the different pieces are tools you're using but it's always good to keep someone to live again and say Hey here's how do you think you can match at the extreme cases you don't want one after the diet one doing exercise wanted to medications once the direct line of this one to boot the dead man you're kind of begin fragmenting account all these pieces of that can have just overall negative outcomes by think think your detox is kind of extra extra boost I actually think you can use to kind of get used to a tough spot after you kind of know what you're doing while you're using it and then they can be useful yeah absolutely out of curiosity are there any apps that you use on a daily basis or weekly basis so not that I use right now but I've tried a lot of the and folks have brought me a lot of them to look at and I think I see one of the most impressive suite of apps I recommend to people that actually made by the veterans administration DBA and what I like about the VA oxes are completely free there's no hidden costs are the restrictions the great privacy policy says we don't take your data it's very easy to understand you can check it out yourselves the VA is actually done a lot of research on digital mental health and apps so you can feel confident they've got to look at these tool they've had patients involved in designing the the head commissions that had researchers and they're pretty easy to use the VA apps and you don't have to be just a veteran taxes on their sweet anyone if you just search for the A. acts library or you'll find on the iTunes store and the entrance or I think those are pretty exciting apps to use again because that they have zero cost there's an act that I haven't directly use but I read about a lot in research papers called in telecare you're through from Northwestern University in Chicago and that's interesting applicants idea is instead of kind of watching maybe a thirty minute lecture on therapy of your phone which is pretty hard to stick with you you see out for thirty seconds to kind of learn to re frame of thought you master if you download the new app if you can if you set it is very short bursts over over you can download new apps that your tool kit so I think in telecare versus the different ways to that sort of mental

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