Mersey Care advancing suicide prevention app

digitalhealth, June 2017

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust is advancing in its plans to develop an app which anticipates and responds to suicide risk.  The mental health trust has been working with California’s Stanford University to  develop the application.  A prototype has been created and researchers are now preparing a feasibility study to explore the usability and performance of the digital platform.  Mersey Care chief executive Joe Rafferty told Digital Health News that the app will offer a more sophisticated way of identifying those who may be at risk of suicide.

Click here to view this news story.

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Sixty seconds on . . . CBT apps

BMJ, 7 September 2016

If you search online for “apps for depression” you’ll get more than a million hits. “People are starting to assume you can get therapy on a smartphone and we won’t need CBT to be provided by health services anymore,” explained Rona Moss-Morris, King’s College London professor of psychology as applied to medicine, at a media update on cognitive behavioural therapy this week. But most people, when asked, choose therapy from a person rather than an app, she said.

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Ensuring safe medical apps

BMC Medicine 2015, 13:205

Authors: Paul Wicks and Emil Chiauzzi

Mobile health apps are health and wellness programs available on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. In three systematic assessments published in BMC Medicine, Huckvale and colleagues demonstrate that widely available health apps meant to help patients calculate their appropriate insulin dosage, educate themselves about asthma, or perform other important functions are methodologically weak. Insulin dose calculators lacked user input validation and made inappropriate dose recommendations, with a lack of documentation throughout. Since 2011, asthma apps have become more interactive, but have not improved in quality; peak flow calculators have the same issues as the insulin calculators. A review of the accredited National Health Service Health Apps Library found poor and inconsistent implementation of privacy and security, with 28 % of apps lacking a privacy policy and one even transmitting personally identifying data the policy claimed would be anonymous. Ensuring patient safety might require a new approach, whether that be a consumer education program at one extreme or government regulation at the other. App store owners could ensure transparency of algorithms (whiteboxing), data sharing, and data quality. While a proper balance must be struck between innovation and caution, patient safety must be paramount.

Click here to read the full paper.

Petals – FGM APP launched at Coventry University

Coventry University – July 2015

Researchers from the Centre for Communities and Social Justice (CCSJ) at Coventry University have created a new app, endorsed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), to help protect young girls and women from female genital mutilation (FGM).

The app, which works across most smartphones, tablets and laptops via an internet browser, is aimed primarily at young girls living in affected communities and at risk from FGM. But it can also be used as an educational tool to teach young people and others the facts and realities of FGM.

Click here to more information and to view the website/app.

App maps long term conditions

E-Health Insider, 17 February 2015

A new mobile app has been launched to make it easier for people with long-term conditions to log their symptoms and medications.  The Health Mapper app allows users to track single of multiple health conditions and record any symptoms, medications, measurements or lifestyle variables like sleep, diet, or exercise.  They can then create and export health reports and customised charts allowing them to share information with their doctor via email or the app.  Health Mapper can be downloaded for via the Apple Itunes store.

Click here for further information.