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Apr 10

Smartphone Apps for Bipolar

Smartphone Apps for BipolarHow good are smartphone apps for bipolar? A 2015 journal article provides details of a careful review of 82 apps providing either information or tracking tools. There were a range of resources available…

  • 32 apps provided information
  • 35 apps offered symptom monitoring
  • 10 apps included screening and assessment tools
  • 4 apps offered community support
  • 1 app provided treatment of some kind

The complete list off apps reviewed can be seen below…

List of Apps Reviewed

Less than a quarter of apps (18/82, 22%) addressed privacy and security by providing a privacy policy.

The apps providing information were not generally high quality. Overall, apps providing information covered a third (4/11, 36%) of the core psychoeducation principles found in Colom and Vieta’s psychoeducation for bipolar disorder manual.  Even fewer (2/13, 15%) referenced best-practice guidelines. Only a third (10/32, 31%) cited their information source.

As in previous reviews of medical apps, there was no correlation between the quality of the information and user ratings.

Symptom monitoring apps generally failed to monitor critical information such as medication (20/35, 57%) and sleep (18/35, 51%), and the majority of self-assessment apps did not use validated screening measures (6/10, 60%).

For More Information

Smartphone Mood Tracking Startup

Technology and Bipolar

References

Colom F, Vieta E. Psychoeducation manual for bipolar disorder. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press; 2006.

Nicholas J, Larsen ME, Proudfoot J, Christensen H. Mobile Apps for Bipolar Disorder: A Systematic Review of Features and Content Quality. Eysenbach G, ed. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2015;17(8):e198. doi:10.2196/jmir.4581.

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