Not using the full capabilities of your tablet or smartphone for your behavioral health practice is like owning a thoroughbred racing horse but leaving it in the barn.
All that power and potential, silently going to waste.
According to Intel CEO Paul Otellini, a single smartphone has more computing power than the entirety of NASA did when it put a man on the moon in 1969.
Are you making smart use of that power in your practice?
If you’re not, it’s not too late to start. I’ve gone through the reams and reams of mental health apps, weeding out the hucksters, patient-focused apps, and vendor-limited programs, to bring you the top ten standalone apps designed exclusively to make your job as a mental health provider easier.
Here they are:
An app from Psychiatric Times, Clinical Scales is available for both Android and iOS devices. This is a free clinical assessment app that acts as a handy pocket reference for a variety of different mental health disorders.
Scales that the app covers include depression and anxiety (with PHQ, MDI, HAM-A, GDS-S etc.), ADHD, bipolar, autism, and general scales like Global Assessment of Function and Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale. Use of the app does require a free registration with Psychiatric Times.
This official app from the American Psychiatric Association is available for both Android and iOS phones for $69.99. The DSM-5 reference is brought to life on your phone or tablet, with up-to-date access to ICD-9-CM and ICD-10-CM codes, as well as video commentary, search functionality, and bookmarking capability.
Though advertised as having both an online and offline mode, user reviews suggest the offline mode may not function well, and access to WiFi is strongly recommended. No registration required.
While only available on iOS devices, this free app from Doctot is a collection of six different depression assessment scales for clinician-administered assessment scales. The six included are HDRS, MSRS, HAMD-7, CGI, HAMA, and PHQ-9.
The ability to generate an email of each patient’s assessment result, as well as the easy-to-use wizard, and automatic categorization of assessment scores makes this an app worth downloading for any therapist focused on depression and anxiety.
Read and follow the different journals published by the American Psychological Association in this free app, available for both Android and iOS. The app allows you to select which journals to follow, and an RSS feed allows you to browse and save article titles and abstracts.
Put out by Central Florida Psychological Consultants, this $1.99 app is only available on iOS devices currently. This straightforward app tests for mild cognitive impairment or dementia, and presents a series of simple questions with the ability to mark yes/no for correct or incorrect answers. At the end of the test each score is tallied and the app displays an interpretation of the score.
While the app is easy-to-use, it does miss out on being able to save/print results as well as having a lack of additional reference information.
Another app developed by the American Psychological Association, PsycEssentials is meant to be a catch-all resource for pyschotherapists. This $39.99 app rolls assessment tests, referral resources, and drug information all into one tool. It’s available for both Android and iOS devices.
Some reviewers have criticized its reliance on outside links, but others laud the centralized access for the APA’s in-house resources.
A tool put out by PAR, Inc., the Assessment Toolkit is a free app for Android and iOS. It includes several tools like score conversion charts, an age calculator, and a normal bell curve illustration to help psychologists who administer standardized assessments.
Additionally, you can purchase additional PAR scoring/conversion modules from within the app should you need more specific tests.
This free app from Drugs.com includes a huge database of medications to allow easy lookup of drug information, drug interactions, and pill identification. The app is available on Android and iOS devices.
Additionally, on iOS, Drugs.com has a “pro” app aimed squarely at healthcare professionals for $39.99 that includes information on dosage & administration, adverse reactions, drug interactions, pharmacology, indications, contraindications and patient information.
A dictation app only available for iOS devices, uDictate is $8.99 and is aimed specifically at the medical and legal professions. With the ability to record 24 hours of audio (versus 60 second limits imposed by other recording apps), appending and tagging functionality, and the ability to send recordings using email or Dropbox, uDictate has a lot of useful functionality.
Need to keep up on the latest mental health news? This free app for Android and iOS updates monthly with the APA’s magazine devoted to behavioral health, Monitor on Psychology. You’ll be able to save issues for offline reading, as well as access current and past issues of the magazine for free.
Have you found any other awesome apps out there for mental health professionals? What apps do you use in your practice? Add them in the comments below!