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Digital Health & Wellness Resources

This online guide to digital health and wellness resources is meant to provide the University of Oregon community with information about on-campus resources, mobile health (mHealth) apps, and strategies to evaluate mHealth apps.

Examples Using the mHealth App Evaluation Rubric

The mHealth apps below were selected due to their popularity of being highly recommended and commonly found in the app stores. The opinions and evaluations of these apps are for educational purposes as demonstrations on how to use the mHealth App Evaluation Rubric. Furthermore, the apps and their evaluations mentioned are not endorsed by the University of Oregon.

AIMS for Anger Management

AIMS app icon

Created by VA’s National Center for PTSD and VA’s Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, AIMS is designed for Veterans and military Service members but can be used by anyone coping with anger problems. The AIMS app is based on the Anger and Irritability Management Skills online self-help course. The AIMS app may be used alone, or in combination with the online course or in-person therapy.

 

 

 

 

 

Key Features:

  • Tools: There are short audio or self-guided interventions such a deep breathing, muscle relaxation, thought stopping and time out that you can access at any time when you are faced with an immediate anger issue

  • Learn: Short articles that teaches you about anger, the triggers and warning signs for your anger and the aggression cycle - there is also advice that teaches you to better manage your anger by creating an anger control plan

  • Anger log: Helps you to record incidents where you got angry and the situations surrounding your anger to get better insight into your anger cycle

  • Anger control plan: You can personalize your anger control plan, focusing on your goals, triggers, warning signs and the strategies you find effective

mHealth App Evaluation Rubric

 

Lowest Quality (1 pt.)

Average Quality (2 pt.)

Best Quality (3 pt.)

Access & Background

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Only works on one type of device (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does not work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is not accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has not been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is not free to download
  • Has additional and/or hidden costs in order to work

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has optional add-ons
  • Is workable without additional and/or hidden costs

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 90 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has no additional and/or hidden costs
Privacy & Security

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does not declare data use or purpose
  • Does not allow users to opt out of data collection or delete data
  • Does not explain security systems used
  • Does not claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection once or delete limited data
  • Does explain security systems used
  • Does claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a transparent privacy policy that is clear and accessible before use
  • Does clearly declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection or delete all data whenever
  • Does explain security systems used and protocol
  • Does claim to not collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data
Clinical Foundation

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does not provide evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does not have a clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is not funded or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers 

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide limited evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide limited evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have limited clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide detailed evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide detailed evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have detailed clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians
Usability

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not define functional scope
  • Does not align with personal needs and priorities
  • Is not customizable
  • Is difficult to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does define functional scope
  • Does align with some personal needs and priorities
  • Has limited customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does clearly define functional scope in detail
  • Does align with all personal needs and priorities
  • Has customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use
Data Integration towards Therapeutic Goal

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User does not own their data
  • Data cannot be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does not improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does not provide scientific evidence that leads to any positive behavioral change or skill acquisition

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns limited personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Does not have the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to general positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns all personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Has the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to specific positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

Final Score: 14 out of 15 (High Quality)

Calm

Calm app iconRecommended by top psychologists, therapists and mental health experts, Calm is a mindfulness app aimed for beginners but includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. The app helps users experience better sleep, lower stress, and less anxiety with their guided meditation, Sleep Stories, breathing programs, stretching exercises, and relaxing music.

 

 

 

 

 

Key features:

  • Self-improvement: Learn the skills of meditation, breaking habits and managing stress

  • Sleep: Listen to Sleep Stories to get more restful sleep and wake up refreshed

  • Music: Listen to exclusive music to help you focus, relax, and sleep

  • Body: Watch video lessons on mindful movement and gentle stretching

  • Masterclass: Listen to audio programs taught by world-renowned mindfulness experts

  • Scenes: Enjoy some nature scenes and sounds while relaxing, sleeping or studying

mHealth App Evaluation Rubric

 

Lowest Quality (1 pt.)

Average Quality (2 pt.)

Best Quality (3 pt.)

Access & Background

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Only works on one type of device (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does not work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is not accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has not been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is not free to download
  • Has additional and/or hidden costs in order to work

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has optional add-ons
  • Is workable without additional and/or hidden costs

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 90 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has no additional and/or hidden costs
Privacy & Security

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does not declare data use or purpose
  • Does not allow users to opt out of data collection or delete data
  • Does not explain security systems used
  • Does not claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection once or delete limited data
  • Does explain security systems used
  • Does claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a transparent privacy policy that is clear and accessible before use
  • Does clearly declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection or delete all data whenever
  • Does explain security systems used and protocol
  • Does claim to not collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data
Clinical Foundation

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does not provide evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does not have a clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is not funded or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers 

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide limited evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide limited evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have limited clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide detailed evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide detailed evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have detailed clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians
Usability

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not define functional scope
  • Does not align with personal needs and priorities
  • Is not customizable
  • Is difficult to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does define functional scope
  • Does align with some personal needs and priorities
  • Has limited customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does clearly define functional scope in detail
  • Does align with all personal needs and priorities
  • Has customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use
Data Integration towards Therapeutic Goal

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User does not own their data
  • Data cannot be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does not improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does not provide scientific evidence that leads to any positive behavioral change or skill acquisition

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns limited personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Does not have the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to general positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns all personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Has the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to specific positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

Final Score: 11 out of 15 (Moderate Quality)

Headspace: Mindful Meditation

Headspace app iconGet happy. Stress less. Sleep soundly. Headspace is your guide to mindfulness for your everyday life. Learn meditation and mindfulness skills from world-class experts like former monk and Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe. Choose from hundreds of guided meditations on everything from managing stress and everyday anxiety to sleep, focus, and mind-body health. Build your practice your way with meditations for every experience level and lifestyle — including short, 3-minute sessions that fit seamlessly into a busy schedule.

 

 

 

Key Features:

  • Hundreds of guided meditations on subjects like focus, exercise, and sleep

  • Sleep by Headspace to help you drift off

  • Everyday Headspace: Daily meditations on a new topic each day

  • The Wake Up to start your day mindfully

  • Move Mode workouts and mindful cardio

  • “Mindful Moments” to keep you present throughout the day

  • 2-3 minute mini-meditations for a quick mental reset

  • “SOS” sessions for moments of panic, anxiety, and stress

  • Headspace animations to teach you new skills and answer your mindfulness questions

  • Track your progress and time spent meditating

  • Buddy up and add your friends to meditate with you

  • Guided meditations and mindfulness exercises for Kids with sessions on Kindness, Calm, and Focus

  • Training led by former monk and renowned mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe

mHealth App Evaluation Rubric

 

Lowest Quality (1 pt.)

Average Quality (2 pt.)

Best Quality (3 pt.)

Access & Background

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Only works on one type of device (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does not work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is not accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has not been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is not free to download
  • Has additional and/or hidden costs in order to work

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has optional add-ons
  • Is workable without additional and/or hidden costs

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 90 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has no additional and/or hidden costs
Privacy & Security

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does not declare data use or purpose
  • Does not allow users to opt out of data collection or delete data
  • Does not explain security systems used
  • Does not claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection once or delete limited data
  • Does explain security systems used
  • Does claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a transparent privacy policy that is clear and accessible before use
  • Does clearly declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection or delete all data whenever
  • Does explain security systems used and protocol
  • Does claim to not collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data
Clinical Foundation

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does not provide evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does not have a clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is not funded or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers 

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide limited evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide limited evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have limited clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide detailed evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide detailed evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have detailed clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians
Usability

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not define functional scope
  • Does not align with personal needs and priorities
  • Is not customizable
  • Is difficult to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does define functional scope
  • Does align with some personal needs and priorities
  • Has limited customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does clearly define functional scope in detail
  • Does align with all personal needs and priorities
  • Has customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use
Data Integration towards Therapeutic Goal

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User does not own their data
  • Data cannot be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does not improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does not provide scientific evidence that leads to any positive behavioral change or skill acquisition

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns limited personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Does not have the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to general positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns all personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Has the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to specific positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

Final Score: 11 out of 15 (Moderate Quality)

Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditation

Stop, Breathe & Think app iconLearn to meditate and be more mindful with Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditation, formerly known as MyLife Meditation. Stop, Breathe & Think: Meditation is an award-winning meditation and mindfulness app that offers daily wellness check-ins and suggests activities personalized on how you feel. Learn to maintain perspective through your mental and physical wellness journey. Develop simple habits so you can get to a better place in just a few minutes a day.

Let experts guide you through journaling prompts that help you think on and let go of emotions, aiding you through your wellness journey. Destress with a meditation guide to gain a better, calm mindspace.

 

Key Features:

  • Mindful Meditation: Calm yourself with personalized meditation recommendations just for you (20+ meditations available in Spanish)

  • Track Your Mental Health: Check-in with how you feel by tracking your mood before and after your daily meditations and exploring your feelings with expert-guided journaling

  • Anxiety Relief: Create space for yourself through mindful breathing and self-care by using their meditation timer for when it’s time to meditate

  • Breathing Exercises: Learn to cultivate your breath to find calm, improve focus and feel more grounded by counting your breaths to calm your mind and live more mindfully

  • Sleep Better: Relax to soothing meditation sounds while you fall asleep

mHealth App Evaluation Rubric

 

Lowest Quality (1 pt.)

Average Quality (2 pt.)

Best Quality (3 pt.)

Access & Background

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Only works on one type of device (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does not work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is not accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has not been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is not free to download
  • Has additional and/or hidden costs in order to work

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does not work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 180 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has optional add-ons
  • Is workable without additional and/or hidden costs

If the app meets MOST of the following criteria:

  • Works on all types of devices (iOS or Android)
  • Does work on a desktop computer
  • Does work with accessibility features of a device
  • Is accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities
  • Has been updated in the last 90 days
  • Is free to download
  • Has no additional and/or hidden costs
Privacy & Security

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does not declare data use or purpose
  • Does not allow users to opt out of data collection or delete data
  • Does not explain security systems used
  • Does not claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a privacy policy before use
  • Does declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection once or delete limited data
  • Does explain security systems used
  • Does claim to collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data securely

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide a transparent privacy policy that is clear and accessible before use
  • Does clearly declare data use or purpose
  • Allows users to opt out of data collection or delete all data whenever
  • Does explain security systems used and protocol
  • Does claim to not collect, use and/or transmit sensitive data
Clinical Foundation

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not provide evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does not provide evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does not have a clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is not funded or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers 

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide limited evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide limited evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have limited clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians or researchers

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does provide detailed evidence of effectiveness/efficacy
  • Does provide detailed evidence of specific benefit from academic institutions, publications, and user feedback or research studies
  • Does have detailed clinical/recovery foundation relevant to intended use
  • Is funded and/or reviewed by a national association of clinicians
Usability

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does not define functional scope
  • Does not align with personal needs and priorities
  • Is not customizable
  • Is difficult to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does define functional scope
  • Does align with some personal needs and priorities
  • Has limited customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • Does clearly define functional scope in detail
  • Does align with all personal needs and priorities
  • Has customization capabilities
  • Is easy to use
Data Integration towards Therapeutic Goal

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User does not own their data
  • Data cannot be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does not improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does not provide scientific evidence that leads to any positive behavioral change or skill acquisition

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns limited personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Does not have the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to general positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

If the app meets ANY of the following criteria:

  • User owns all personal data
  • Can be used for individual use or in collaboration with a medical provider
  • Has the ability to export or transfer data if used with a medical provider
  • Data can be shared and interpreted in a way that's consistent with stated purpose of the app
  • Does improve therapeutic alliance between patient and medical provider
  • Does provide scientific evidence that leads to specific positive behavioral changes or skill acquisitions

Final Score: 9 out of 15 (Low Quality)

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