An affordable and accessible alternative to therapy, mHealth apps offer an interesting modern-day solution to managing (to some degree) mental health issues. The best apps provide helpful tools to manage stress and guide users towards healthy habits.
This is typically done with mood trackers, reminders/notifications, or the scheduling of daily activities (i.e., mindfulness). But most importantly app developers need to continue to focus on how to make the user’s experience truly personal; something that goes beyond guided meditation and AI interaction.
What is Wellness?
Wellness apps help improve a person’s overall wellness. This isn’t necessarily the same thing as raw fitness. These apps measure a range of metrics at the gym and can track everyday stats like steps taken and heart rate.
But wellness apps have a very holistic view of health — they can measure a person’s sleep patterns, ensure they’re not on their screens for too long, and even offer games designed to keep a person mentally sharp.
There are currently more than 150,000 wellness apps available across multiple platforms. To call the popularity of wellness apps a “trend” is an understatement — they’ve been around for years now and show no signs of slowing down.
Wearables are Evolving
Wearable health monitors continue to be popular (and life-saving) options. Continuous glucose monitors allow users who have diabetes to make food decisions in real-time while also monitoring their physical activity and medication — reducing the overall need for repeated (and painful) finger-prick tests. Cardiac health monitors also continue to be a vital monitoring device for anyone with a heart condition. These devices are becoming more sleek and streamlined, collecting data for regular cardiovascular tracking.
Startups focusing on the mHealth space are not only focusing on consumers, but also on developing apps that directly help doctors. Read more about mHealth startups that are making a difference here, or you can check out RxTx mobile, which is produced by the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) and has collated a great deal of the data found in the massive, printed Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS).
Available through mobile as well as integrated EMR channels, it boasts more than 2,000 fully bilingual, Health Canada approved product monographs for vaccines, medications, and natural health products.
Featuring condition-based medication tables formatted for quick access to dosage, adverse effects, medication interactions, and relative costs. It runs on iOS and Android devices.
Sleep is paramount to overall health, which makes wearables that help people get to sleep increasingly popular. There are apps for your FitBit or smartphone that track sleep patterns, and even wearable headbands that can monitor your heart rate during sleep. Sleepace is currently developing a “smart pillow” to help monitor sleep habits to ensure you’re using the best sleeping position for your body.
If you have the next groundbreaking mHealth app idea, here are some tips to keep in mind when looking for the right app developer.
Look for a mobile app team that understands the importance of each stage of the development process, and believes in the democratization of that process. Look for a partner in design that will involve you, the client, at every step. Look for companies that boast low-iteration wireframing and heavy client involvement, and you’ll be well on your way.