App Evaluation Project: Transforming Mental Health Care in Canada

Mental health apps provide fast and cost-effective access to portable resources that aim to help people experiencing mental illness and addiction. But with little to no research to support the claims of app developers, healthcare providers and consumers struggle to select and make the best use of these resources.

HRI has partnered with the RBC Foundation to conduct a large-scale evaluation of mental health apps. The project has two phases:

  1. Develop a framework to evaluate the effectiveness of mental health apps, and
  2. Identify top-quality apps aimed at addressing mental health problems, specifically among youth (pending further funding).

Dr. Roy Cameron, Executive Director of HRI, will oversee all aspects of this project. HRI has engaged Dr. Yuri Quintana, Director of Global Health Informatics at Harvard Medical School and a world leader in digital health services, to lead technical development on the project.

The goal of this project is to create an evidence-based roadmap for users of digital mental health services. Outcomes will be relevant to consumers, healthcare providers and other agencies around the globe that use mental health apps to supplement psychiatric treatment.

Funder: RBC Foundation (Phase 1)

Reports:

Youth Mental Health Apps in the Digital Age: A Scoping Review of Trends and Evaluations

A Framework for Evaluation of Mobile Apps for Youth Mental Health

Webinar:

A Framework for Evaluation of Mobile Apps for Youth Mental Health