Addressing the risks of the COVID-19 outbreak, people all across the world are practicing social distancing and are quarantining themselves. Though this social distancing is flattening the curve of COVID-19 cases, a bend in the curve of mental issues is observed.
In the past few months, cases of mental health issues have grown rapidly. In a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers have warned of an ‘inevitable pandemic’ of mental illness as a consequence of COVID-19.
With advancements in technology, growth in the digital health industry is observed, which has eventually lead to a rise in the mental health space. With this, technology now has the key to intervening in your mental health issues via mobile apps.
There are more than 400 million worldwide downloads of mobile health apps annually. This proves users are seeking technology to manage their health. However, the question is whether digital mental health technology works efficiently without harming us.
A 2019 study of apps found the lack of quality and safety assurance in mobile health apps as inaccurate suicide crisis helpline phone numbers were offered by a few mental health apps downloaded more than 2 million times.
No doubt, a few apps diagnose patients, counsel them, prioritize their concerns, and treat their mental illness under safety standards. A 2018 study of 18 RCTs of mobile apps for people with depression concluded that there was a decrease in the user’s symptoms after using the app.
So, effective apps do have the capability to take good care of your mental health not only during pandemics but also in daily life. It appears as the need of today as in this global pandemic people are somehow depending on digital mental health technology.
However, the future scenario remains unknown unless developers work on the efficacy and safety of the app instead of its design and marketing tools.