How can a digital mental health app improve your emotional fitness? PsycApps, the company who have launched an emotional fitness game, explain the benefits of using the digital mental health app and the challenges they faced when developing the app.
The digital mental health app market strives to improve wellbeing as cost efficiently and easily as possible. This is a commendable vision, but one which poses several challenges for hundreds of emerging mental well-being apps. Condensing whole libraries of knowledge, and a minimum of weeks of face-to-face therapy into one digital mental health app is an ambitious aim. There is the need to compete with over 2 million apps designed to distract, entertain and make a profit from smartphone users. There is also a social barrier to overcome: a digital mental health app has to work to overcome stigma for people to admit they need help and accept the help digitally.
We at PsycApps have launched into the digital mental health market through gaming with the help of Collision Studios, a game development studio that has helped make games such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘300’.
How does eQuoo work?
Using the know-how of the gaming industry in eQuoo, our emotional fitness game, we playfully teach our clients psychological skills, before sending them off into interactive game play to test those skills in a safe and controlled environment. Teaching psychological skills through digital mental health apps builds resilience. It is also a preventative action for when the app users face emotional stressors in life that could trigger mental illness without access to the proper processing skills. Our retention numbers are at the same level as top-rated games and far higher than the average digital mental health app.
eQuoo’s accreditation and accountability
Accountability is most likely the most important factor in a digital mental health app. It is important for potentially vulnerable users to ensure that they will benefit from the app and for the app to stand out among other digital mental health apps. We developed the content with a team of accredited psychologists and are currently undergoing a clinical trial to show that eQuoo builds resilience. We have recently received accreditation for eQuoo from ORCHA, the UK’s leading health app assessment company, working with the NHS.
ORCHA assess the quality, safety and risks of health apps based on three overarching criteria: user experience and engagement, data privacy and clinical efficacy and assurance. Assessment criteria have been chosen following a Delphi panel consisting of an information governance specialist, a health economist, an academic research fellow in mHealth, and two clinicians (one primary and one secondary care). All ORCHA app assessment questions are objective and answered on a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ basis, moreover, are chosen on their ability to be answered with reference to evidence and best practice guidelines, and without the opportunity for the opinions, expectations or value judgements of reviewers to affect outcomes.
Following the assessment, eQuoo has been rated at the ‘Top Level’. Our journey to help people achieve positive mental health using our digital mental health app has been both exciting and rewarding one. and users can now be assured of the quality and safety of eQuoo.