How to Create a Mental Health App

Sergey Avdeychik

Sergey Avdeychik

Director of Healthcare Technologies at Andersen

Healthcare
Aug 5, 2022
9 minutes to read
views
  1. More specific data pertaining to mental health
  2. Want to create a mental health app? But what type to create?
  3. Reason to create a solution of those types: a total win-win
  4. How to develop mental health apps? Features to create
  5. Wrapping up. Choose Andersen

Vulnerability to mental health challenges and issues is a widely-spread problem nowadays. This is not without reason. The reminiscences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ever-present likelihood of new medical threats, ongoing and potential large-scale military conflicts, costly economic uncertainties, and the never-ending flow of news contribute to it. Take a look at these figures: back in 2019, before all the aforementioned started or intensified, roughly 970 million individuals worldwide, or 1 out of every 8 people, had been grappling with a mental disorder. As the WHO puts it, anxiety and cases of depression were common conditions among those affected. The 2020s made matters much worse. As early as 2020, anxiety and depression rates started to skyrocket, showing 26% and 28% spikes respectively. In this situation, growing target audiences of users tend to resort to technology for support and maintaining their internal balance and well-being. This trend motivates companies to invest in this direction. Therefore, knowing how to create a mental health app is a question of major importance for HealthTech players.

More specific data pertaining to mental health

As a team focusing on mental health app development, we would suggest starting with statistics. First of all, there certainly exists a large target audience for mental health apps. For sure, more people are, first and foremost, concerned about their physical condition. However, the gap between the perceived significance of physical and mental aspects is not that big. In 2022, about 70% of survey participants from 34 countries confirmed they frequently or somewhat frequently contemplated their physical well-being. In contrast, approximately 58% of respondents expressed similar levels of consideration regarding their mental health.

Resorting to apps is a self-evident direction to go for those worried about their well-being in general and mental health in particular. Teams all over the world regularly create such electronic assistants, the best of which are in high demand.

In 2017, what we now look back upon as calmer days, the size of the global mHealth market was valued at almost $23 billion. Around 2025 it is projected to exceed $246 billion. This upward trend should not come as a surprise.

U.S. mHealth Apps Market

Even over a decade ago health professionals believed in apps. For instance, this 2013 survey showed:

  • 93% of doctors expressed confidence in the ability of mobile health apps to enhance patient outcomes;
  • Furthermore, 89% of them indicated their inclination to suggest such apps to their patients.

This 2015 study, focused on the UK NHS attitudes, revealed that:

  • Nearly half (48%) of healthcare professionals planned to integrate mobile apps into their practice within the coming five years;
  • 81% anticipated that these apps would enhance their understanding of patients' conditions;
  • 65% of healthcare professionals were of the opinion that health apps would contribute to patient accountability for their health;
  • Finally, 93% of end-users believed that mHealth tools could exert a positive impact on the quality of life.

Recent calamities, technology advancements, and greater affordability have resulted in a predictable boom.

An interesting fact: According to the Deloitte researches, studies indicate that mental health apps offer significant clinical benefits. Meta-analyses encompassing over 20 existing mobile alternatives trials reveal a notable reduction in depressive symptoms and improved self-management of depression.

Moreover, an analysis focusing on anxiety treatment apps demonstrates a decrease in anxiety symptoms post-usage, particularly when combined with not only face-to-face, but also internet-based therapies.

Want to create a mental health app? But what type to create?

Let’s assume your company intends to capitalize on this expansion and create a mental health app. But what type exactly?

Generally, there are three options to create:

  1. To create something for anxiety and depression management. We have already mentioned their global prevalence levels. These problems are faced by millions, indeed.

To help them, apps of this class encompass functionalities to evaluate end-users' present mental well-being, monitor their emotional state, and provide guidance on managing associated conditions. They might incorporate features for meditation, sleep tracking, and communication with either an AI-driven chatbot or a human therapist.

Meditation is a big thing for health industries nowadays. Throughout various cultural traditions and geographical locations, meditation has served as a longstanding time-tested method for emotional regulation. Demonstrating efficacy in tackling stress and its associated symptoms, meditation apps have gained wide