8 Best Mental Health Apps For Daily Use

8 Best Mental Health Apps For Daily Use
mental health apps
Technology has allowed us to explore mental health in new paradigms using science and data collection technologies. Remote devices such as mobile phones and tablets are now effectively used in attaining better mental health. Extremely sophisticated mental well-being apps have made their way into the market. These apps detect behavior changes, draw patterns and highlight any crisis in mental well-being. The self-management of mental health has increased the demand for these mental health apps. In these apps, many techniques based on CBT and mindfulness are applied to develop sessions, courses, and activities to promote positive thinking. Many apps have partnered with mental health professionals to make their services more authentic.
Today, there are thousands of apps for managing mental health. Healthcare app development services have made app development very easy. Companies are even hiring individual healthcare app developers to create healthcare apps. With growing awareness regarding mental health and easy healthcare application development, the market is only expected to flood with mental health apps. Choosing one app can be difficult since every app is going to offer a plethora of options. Decision-making is important in this case.

Criteria to Select Mental Health Apps

Mapping every mental health app on some selection criteria can be a productive way of evaluating all the apps in consideration. Here are some of the criteria that can be used for evaluation:
1. Effectiveness: The apps should have some scientific basis to prove their effectiveness.
2. Target audience: You should ensure that you are amongst the target audience. For instance, if you have no idea about mental well-being and meditation then you can choose an app that has some light sessions and activities for beginners.
3. Privacy: Mental health apps get access to your sensitive personal information. The app should be legitimate with a strict policy for the privacy of information.
4. Personalized approach: The apps should have a personalized approach to fit into your lifestyle. You should be able to take up the sessions and activities even in your busy work schedule.
5. Good review: Always head out for the reviews before subscribing to any mental health app. Any good app will have several reviews online on different sites.

Top 8 Mental Health Apps available in iOS and Android

mental health apps

Calm

This app has been developed to promote mindfulness, calmness, and better sleep. The application comes with various options for sleep, work, and meditation. A series of audio recordings help the users relax and meditate. There are breathing programs, relaxing sounds, and music. The app is great for every age and comes with separate recordings for beginners. Sleep stories and lullabies act as an advantage for users as they can introduce their kids to mental health with relaxation.
Free Trial: 7 days
Subscription: Starts at $69.99 per year

Talkspace

Talkspace is a unique mental health app that can directly connect you with a mental health professional. You can have a mental health checkup and stress check report. The app allows you to undergo an assessment to assess your mental health, diagnose the issues, and connect with the right professional. There are different options for individuals, couples, and teens. Talkspace will not only help you let go of the stress but also help you clinically. You can find 24X7 support using chats and live videos. There is a con to this app which is its high cost but it is worth considering owing to its benefits.
Subscription: Starts at $69 per week

MindDoc

MindDoc helps diagnose mental health issues and provide treatment for it. It offers a personalized experience with daily questions and 70-plus courses and exercises for improving mental health. The application identifies your feelings, detects patterns to get an insight into your mental health, and then helps you set goals to take care of your mental health. The users get access to strategies to deal with phobias, depression, insomnia, burnout, and eating disorder.
Free trial: 7 days
Subscription: $7 per month

Headspace

Headspace app provides breathing exercises and meditation sessions to improve calmness, self-worth, and sleep. There are specific meditation techniques for beginners. Then there are sessions for deep meditation. The app has exercises and yoga that help in strengthening mental as well as physical health. It is one app that equally stresses on meditation and mindfulness to change stressful lifestyles and habits. This is a great option to relax and unwind with relaxing sound and music.
Free trial: 14 days
Subscription: $18 per year

Thrive

Thrive is a mental wellbeing app recommended by NHS. It helps you manage anxiety and stress with 24X7 mental health support. It provides you with screening tools to detect mental health conditions and work on them. The mindfulness techniques equip you with the tools to deal with anxiety and stress. The powerful reporting insights keep you updated on your progress. The great part is that the Thrive app can be integrated with your well-being services. You get in touch with verified therapists who create engagement strategies according to your work schedule. Thrive is a wonderful app for receiving mental health therapies.
Free trial: Book a free demo

Sanvello

Sanvello is going to help you in four different ways. You will get self-care, peer support, coaching, and therapy. All of these options have different costs. It has partnered with many professionals such as authors and gymnasts to offer the best support and guidance. The best part is that you can avail a lot of features free of cost. From finding tools to assessing issues, getting community support to explore solutions, to getting therapy from experts, Sanvello offers you everything for mental health support.
Subscription: $3.99 per month (charges based on options chosen)

Happify

Happify has been developed to help you counter negative thoughts, stress, and life’s challenges by breaking old patterns and forming new habits. You get access to tools and processes that help you overcome sadness, stress, or anxiousness. The app allows you to control your emotions using engaging games and activities. You keep a happiness score to self-assess your improvement with the activities. Happify is a fun app that empowers you to develop positive psychology using science-based activities that reduce stress and promote positivity. CBT, mindfulness, and positive psychology are going to be the tools that you are going to deal with.
Subscription: $14.99 per month

MoodKit

MoodKit comes with effective strategies to identify and change unhealthy thinking. The app provides you with a mood chart time-to-time to promote well-being. The app is principally built on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). Science-based MoodKit activities guide you towards steps and activities which can improve your mood. You get a variety of things including a mood tracker, Thought checker, and mood journal to self-assess your improvement and work on it.
Subscription cost: $6.99

Conclusion

Self-management is the primary advantage offered by these mental health apps built for mental health. The busy lifestyle and taboo around visiting a psychologist have pushed us towards these apps. All of the listed apps are great for managing stress and developing positive psychology. However, these apps may not be capable of replacing a certified healthcare professional completely. If the mental health issues persist then visit a medical healthcare professional in person.

Gamification in Healthcare Apps: Use Cases & Amazing Benefits

Gamification in Healthcare Apps: Use Cases & Amazing Benefits
gamification in healthcare
Gamification in Healthcare is an ongoing trend! Many of you might be of the opinion that it’s simply a marketing strategy of app creators to attract audiences or an attempt to appease the fun-loving new-era patients. But, in reality, gamification has much more to deliver than just amusement and has something in store for individuals of all age groups.
Well, gamification won’t cure patients completely but can motivate them to adhere to healthy lifestyle practices, and overcome challenging health tasks; resulting in improved patient outcomes. And, you’ll be surprised to learn about the potential & amazing benefits of Gamification to health app users; including patients, providers as well as practitioners.
As per market research conducted by the popular online portal Global Market Insights, the total market value of the Healthcare Gamification market was USD 25.3 Billion in the year 2020. They predicted this value to grow at a CAGR of over 14.6% from the period of 2021 to 2027. And today, the concept of gamification is gaining momentum in the healthcare application development industry at a fast pace.
This post throws light on the implementations of healthcare gamification, use cases, and its enormous power to improve patient outcomes.

What is meant by Gamification in Healthcare?

Gamification in healthcare refers to the strategy of integrating gaming elements, gaming principles, game mechanics, and game design methods into non-gaming apps like healthcare apps. The key objectives of gamification are to induce fun and engaging elements into tiresome activities, motivate users to follow wellness regimes, and improve patients’ emotional, cognitive, and behavioral health. For instance, chalking out a diet or healthcare regime, Gamified exercises for patients with mobility impairments, back pain, etc are some of the gamification concepts in healthcare apps.
Gamification in healthcare works best for medical apps that deal with fitness, wellness, nutrition, self-management, medication management, mental health, physical therapy, rehabilitation, etc.

How are Gamification Elements integrated into Healthcare Apps?

healthcare app developers

Simulation Gaming

Immersive simulation gaming aims at making the patients visualize the adverse effects and consequences of health-related issues, if not properly dealt with. Such kind of gaming elements is also useful for healthcare researchers and clinicians, helping them to upgrade their technical knowledge, medical processes, and patient monitoring practices.

Storytelling Approach

Storytelling has always been an effective strategy for convincing people and so, today’s health apps are introducing storytelling elements into healthcare gaming. These stories involve players achieving challenging health/fitness objectives through fun activities. Missions are designed for the users and they can listen to audio narratives uncovering an adventurous story. This inspires them to complete difficult wellness missions overcoming all adversities. This approach is usually employed in Fitness apps for missions concerning jogging, running, exercising, etc.

Levels and Challenges

Gamification in healthcare often involves competitive components like gaming levels for fulfilling wellness/fitness milestones. Here, the basic level consists of simple tasks to perform. As the game proceeds, the levels become more complex due to the addition of difficult tasks. The users have to nail the achievements like covering 5 kms in 2 days, etc. mentioned in a specific level, to qualify for the consecutive level.
The addition of challenges increases the competitiveness of the entire activity and motivates the users to achieve the impossible. Here, users can achieve a specific fitness goal and challenge other users or can accept challenges from others to perform a specific task.

Progress Bars

The app tracks users’ wellness/health activities continuously. The progress made by users is measured and the performance statistics get displayed, usually in graphical formats. This way, users stay informed on their daily progress. For example, heart rate monitoring apps display the treatment progress via graphs while fitness apps track training & exercise parameters as calories burnt, steps walked, miles covered, etc.

Leaderboards & Ratings

Individuals are often tempted to compare themselves with others. Leaderboards and performance ratings make use of this tendency to motivate users. Leaderboards are used in group training sessions to assess and identify the most successful member in the group. Also, users are rated on the basis of their performance. Ratings are displayed in a tabular format so that users are able to compare their performance with other members. This creates a competitive environment that pushes the users to improve their performance and achieve healthcare objectives no matter how difficult they are. And, being able to share their achievements on social media enhances the overall effectiveness of this entire strategy.

Virtual Representatives/Avatar

Some health apps, particularly fitness apps, have implemented this novel and interesting feature. Here, an avatar, a virtual representation of the user, is involved. When a user loses weight the same result is reflected in the avatar whereas if the user gains weight, the avatar gets punished.

Rewards & Badges

Health app users get badges or reward points for completing a mandated activity. The badges and reward points are visual identifiers of a patient’s success in fulfilling necessary health-related tasks. In some apps, users can even exchange reward points for receiving in-app service benefits, discount coupons, buying medicines, or earning a free monthly subscription.
This approach encourages users to set milestones for accomplishing personalized healthcare goals that had seemed boring, tiresome and challenging in the past. And, winning rewards or recognition for achievements instills a sense of pride amongst the users and motivates them to keep up their good work. Sharing their progress and achievements with other users or friends builds up competitiveness, pushing users to stick to the desired health or wellness regimes. What’s more? These additional perks boost users’ loyalty to a specific medical application.

Gamification in Healthcare: Use Cases

healthcare app development company

Children’s Health Apps

The doctors and patients of kids undergoing long-term treatment find it difficult to make them understand the significance of their ailments as well as the importance of adhering to medications & therapies. Moreover, young kids often refuse to swallow bitter pills and undergo therapies. Gaming elements play a crucial role here by teaching the kids to be more responsible concerning their health. Gaming also adds fun elements to make them forget the fact that they are undergoing treatment and increase their willingness to follow regimes.
The pharma company Pfizer created a video game that teaches children suffering from haemophilia the necessity of following treatment plans and medication. Hemocratf provides a simulated environment where kids learn how treatment methodologies work and how they can help themselves during accidents before help arrives. The app My PlayHome Hospital prepares kids for doctor visits and helps them to shed their phobia by turning the kids into virtual doctors. With MyTeeth, kids learn the correct way of brushing their teeth.

Mental Health Apps

Emotional health issues are rising and modern-day individuals need some help in managing such woes. What can be a better solution than gamified apps?
Moodfit uplifts the users’ mood when they are facing issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. Users can track their daily progress and mood swings, and also receive actionable exercise recommendations.
Loona alerts users about their mood and helps them to get some relaxing sleep after a hectic day. Tactful gaming elements like storytelling, relaxation activities, and pleasing sounds are used for inducing sleep.

Health Apps for managing Medication & Chronic Conditions

Several chronic diseases like diabetes require self-management, which is one of the most difficult regimes to stick to. Well, Gamification in healthcare has eased things.
Mango Health enables patients to adhere to medication regimes, offers information on medicines, and warns about the possible side effects of medications. Flaredown monitors patients’ health by updating patients on medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, and the way these factors can affect a patient’s physical/mental state. With the app Manage My Pain, users can identify the areas affected by pain, track the intensity of the pain, and receive suggestions on relieving the pain.

Physical Therapy/Rehabilitation Apps

Patients find it challenging as well as time-consuming to recover from issues like mobility, independence for carrying out daily activities, etc. after an accident or severe injury. Gamification increases the effectiveness of physical therapy.
The app Prehab educates users on ways of controlling their health via physical therapy. Users get a host of tips, workouts, and the facility to connect with trained therapists whenever needed. The solution named Eyesight Exercise offers audio tips and instructions for eyesight improvement and eye relaxation techniques. The rehabilitation app Physera offers exercise tips to build up flexibility and strength. VERA utilizes motion tracking technology, compares patients’ performances with desired standards, and provides corrective measures.

Nutrition & Fitness Apps

Nutrition and fitness apps are quite popular amongst new-age individuals for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Introducing gaming elements into such apps is an added perk for users.
Apple’s Health app allows users to track wellness parameters like heart rate, hydration, activity, sleep quality/patterns, calories gained/burnt, and many more. The fasting app Zero tracks down the mood changes of users during fasting periods. MyFitnessPal is a nutrition app that helps users to track their daily calorie intake, manage weight, set goals, and select food recommendations from a nutrition database as per their healthcare objectives.

Cancer Treatment

Gamification in Healthcare has proven beneficial for cancer treatment as well. The gaming app Re-Mission employs the nanobot named “Roxy.” Roxy is a player that fights and combats crude cancer treatment methodologies depicted in the form of weapons like radiation guns, chemoblaster, antibiotic rockets, etc. Roxy survives all adversities and this example has helped cancer patients to stick to medication and therapies.

Gamification in Healthcare: Advantages

Improves the Effectiveness of Treatment Plans & Medication Adherence

Gamification in healthcare helps patients with one of the most neglected tasks; that’s adherence to medication and treatment plans. Gamification imbibes resilience and motivates users to take medications on time. It even offers incentives to follow healthcare regimes, track medication schedules, refill prescriptions on time, stick to doctor appointments, etc. Gamification also enables doctors to monitor patients’ health activities and verify whether their patients are following medication/treatment regimes as required.

Optimizes Patient Engagement & Retention

Gamification motivates individuals to achieve their healthcare goals and makes them realize their accountability for their healthcare choices. Attractive and engaging games make monotonous health tasks all the more enjoyable. In the long run, gamification in healthcare educates patients about their illnesses, enables patients to battle depression effortlessly, and encourages them to stick to treatment plans. This way, health app owners can engage and retain customers in the best possible manner.

Valuable Consumer Insights and Feedback

The healthcare data entered by the users into the app and the patient improvement data generated within the app help providers to gain valuable insights and consumer feedback. This information is utilized for identifying current trends, customer needs, and areas of improvement. It enables healthcare providers to design user-centric apps with better clinical outcomes; provide more customized features, and implement improved security protocols.

An Effective Medical Learning Tool

Medical Students, as well as practitioners, need to learn and remember humongous facts, concepts, theories, emerging technologies, etc. and gamification makes this process way easier. Gamified medical apps help healthcare professional retain knowledge and information as they can cover complex topics speedily and with several repetitions.

Final Thoughts

Gamification in Healthcare benefits both patients as well as providers. Users get an elevated experience, receive assistance with health/medication regimes, get the much-needed motivation to accomplish fitness goals, health objectives, etc. Providers can engage patients in a better way, and win customer loyalty, and brand recognition. However, to extract the full potential of gamification, healthcare app developers need to craft solutions based on well-established theories and game mechanics.
So, how about designing a gamified medical app or gamifying your existing healthcare app to make it more effective, appealing, and engaging to users? For achieving this objective, I would recommend you to partner with an experienced healthcare app development company that will help you leverage gamification elements to the fullest.