Beth Israel Deaconess develops tool to help users find the right mental health app

Researchers at Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have developed a tool to help users sort through almost 200 different mental health apps to find one that best meets their needs and preferences.

The tool allows users to sort through nearly 200 mental health apps. They can filter the apps based on qualities they deem important, such as price, clinical research to support efficacy, privacy settings, and services and features offered.

Beth Israel's team of developers made sure the tool did not include ratings or rankings for the apps, as these often reinforce a "one size fits all" mindset that they believe cannot be applied to an individual's mental health service preferences. Instead, they designed the tool to take into account each user's unique preferences, which mimics the way patients are treated in a clinic.

The tool emerges at a time when Americans' interest in mental health apps is surging, as many are faced with grief and stress brought on by the pandemic and national unrest. The 20 most popular mental health apps experienced a 29 percent increase in downloads in April, according to market intelligence firm Sensor Tower.

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