The below evaluation is an example of the types of information you may find when using our Model to assess specific apps. This sample evaluation is not intended to enable you to make a decision about choosing these specific apps for actual use, as such a decision is a personal one that you will make based on your own unique preferences, needs, and evaluation. We strongly encourage you to download these apps for yourself and use our Model to conduct your own assessment.
This evaluation was completed May 2020, and is based on publicly available information found by our Panel at that time. In July 2020, APA's contacted the app developers and offered to them an opportunity to provide feedback on these assessments. Comments from developers who responded are included here. These comments do not necessarily reflect publicy available information at the time of the original assessment or presently.
Access & Background
Does the app identify ownership?
Yes: Amston Studio, LLC; App Store also links to Amston Home Services.
Does the app identify funding sources and conflicts of interest?
Funding source is VHA Innovation Grant. No conflicts easily identified, but authors and funding sources for the app are listed in-app and in the store.
Does the app come from a trusted source?
The app is developed by psychiatrists. These reviewers are unfamiliar with the specific company that creates the app.
Does the app claim to be medical?
The app is listed under the "Medical" category in the App Store, but the app itself does not claim to be medical.
Are there additional or hidden costs?
No additional or hidden costs were found during this review.
Does the app work offline?
It does not appear to. App was tested in Airplane Mode in both iOS and Android. Some content appeared to load content from the internet, but not all; on Android, the app showed blank screens when offline with no prompt for the user to connect to an internet connection to use the app.
Does the app work with accessibility features of the iPhone/Android? Is it accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities?
No. On Android's Voice Assistant and iOS's VoiceOver, it does not recognize menu button, alternative text is missing from some images and the delete buttons, and text-to-speech appears broken for some headings. Toast notifications appear quickly and disappear. On Android Voice Assistant, input text does not activate keyboard, such that users cannot enter in data.
Privacy & Safety
Does the app declare data use and purpose?
Does the app describe use of PHI?
Not that these reviewers could find.
Can you opt out of data collection or delete data?
Is data maintained in the device or on the web?
Does the app explain security systems used?
What third parties does the app share data with?
If appropriate, is the app equipped to respond to potential harms or safety concerns?
Not that these reviewers could find.
Is the app content correct, well-written, and relevant?
According to the reviewers, the content is cllear and easy to access.
What are the relevant sources or references supporting the app use cases?
Developers and partners indicate that this is forthcoming. They now plan to validate their data.
Was there an attempt to validate app usability and feasibility?
Unknown. These reviewers were unable to find evidence for this.
Is there evidence of effectiveness/efficacy?
What are the main engagement styles of the app?
Text and daily tracking logs are the main engagedment styles.
Do the app and its features align with your needs and priorities?
It is in alignment with the population it serves (though not necessarily for these reviewers).
Is it customizable?
It does not appear to be or intended to be customizable.
Does the app clearly define its functional scope?
Do you own your data?
Can the app share data with EMR and other data tools (Apple HealthKit, FitBit)?
The app does not appear to support these features.
Is the app for individual use or to be used in collaboration with a provider? If intended to be used with a provider, does the app have the ability to export or transfer data?
The app is intended to be used in collaboration with a provider, but reviewers cannot identify ways to export data.
Does the app lead to any positive behavior change or skill acquisition?
Does the app improve therapeutic alliance between patient and provider?