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.
MoodPath rebranded itself into MindDoc after this review was completed, and the developer was made aware of this when requesting feedback. The changes in the app are highlighted in the app store description. 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?
MindDoc Health GmbH (developer)
Does the app identify funding sources and conflicts of interest?
Cofinanced by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is listed on mymoodpath.com/en/science/.
Does the app come from a trusted source?
The source appears to be reasonably trustworthy, according to these reviewers. While unknown to the reviewers, the co-founders claim to have business backgrounds working for companies in the health tech space, and are completing certificates in psychotherapy. On the science page, they site research collaborations with Freie Universitat Berlin and a collaboration with the chair for Clinical Psychology to validate a pilot version of this app.
Does the app claim to be medical?
Yes. Moodpath claims to be "developed and validated in collaboration with scientists." "Moodpath is based on the concept of cognitive behavioral therapy and was developed with experienced therapists and doctors. Additionally, researchers from the fields of psychology and psychotherapy conduct clinical studies to continuously validate the app." Categorized in App Store under "Medical." A quick google search for "FDA" and "Moodpath" did not produce results.
Are there additional or hidden costs?
The app has a "Freemium" model. Free to download, $24.99 per quarter to unlock additional modules/courses.
Does the app work offline?
Yes, app works when in airplane mode.
Does the app work with accessibility features of the iPhone/Android? Is it accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities?
Privacy & Safety
Does the app declare data use and purpose?
Yes, it clearly outlines what information is collected and whether it is classified as health-related, Technical, or app usuage data. It states that it collects and stores health, technical and app usuage data. It transmits health data anonymously to universities that it cooperates with in research.
Does the app describe use of PHI?
It states that health data is anonymously sent to research universities.
Can you opt out of data collection or delete data?
Users can choose to participate in Health Data processing by giving consent on the app, which they interpret as choosing to use the app. You can delete your data by clicking on "Delete all saved data" in the settings of the app under "Manage your data". This will delete all your data from the app's databases. You can opt into having the app collect data from Apple Health or Google Fit to indicate level of physical activity.
Is data maintained in the device or on the web?
Data is maintained indefinitely on servers of the app's IT service providers in Frankfurt am Main who process the data on behalf of the app. An encrypted ID is stored on Apple and Google servers with which only the app can communicate with.
Does the app explain security systems used?
Yes, the app explains different encryption techniques, firewalls employed and guidelines that their cloud services comply with.
What third parties does the app share data with?
The app shares data with Google Firebase and Branch Metrics.
If appropriate, is the app equipped to respond to potential harms or safety concerns?
Is the app content correct, well-written, and relevant?
Yes, upon evaluator app demo of the depression module, the information appears to be well-written and clinically accurate.
What are the relevant sources or references supporting the app use cases?
The website states that there are studies being done using the app. "We collaborated with members of the chair for Clinical Psychology to validate a pilot version of the app. The study was conducted with a clinical sample and with a second sample consisting of students. The encouraging results regarding the intensity of usage and specificity were presented at a conference for clinical psychology and psychotherapy in 2017. Furthermore, we work together with other partners to validate the Moodpath screening." No publishable data could be found on website. Several other ongoing studies have been summarized on the website. Preliminary web search found following published source: Burchert, S., Kerber, A., Zimmermann, J., & Knaevelsrud, C. (2019). 14-day smartphone ambulatory assessment of depression symptoms and mood dynamics in a general population sample: comparison with the PHQ-9 depression screening. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 704.
Was there an attempt to validate app usability and feasibility?
What are the main engagement styles of the app?
Chatbox; App includes modules for different topics. Each module is heavily text based with some pictorials and audio mindfulness exercises. For engagement: notifications/reminders.
Do the app and its features align with your needs and priorities?
The app provides free modules for understanding depression, mindfulness and dealing with coronavirus. It also shows several other modules that are restricted until the user subscribes to their quarterly program. These premium modules include: rumination, self-confidence, emotions, and sleep.
Is it customizable?
There is a journal section of the app that is customizable and if you answer a set of questions three times per day, they will provide an assessment of the user's emotional health. This repeats for continued tracking and monitoring of mood.
Does the app clearly define its functional scope?
Do you own your data?
There is an option to export data, and to delete all stored data "Any data you generate will be deleted irretrievably from your device and the server." Thus it appears that users own their own data.
Can the app share data with EMR and other data tools (Apple HealthKit, FitBit)?
App can extract data from apple health and fit bit. Clinical data can also be exported to Apple Health.
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?
App is intended to be for individual use, but if user wishes to use app data to supplement care, there is an option for data export.
Does the app lead to any positive behavior change or skill acquisition?
The app suggests new behaviors and ways of thinking about situations. Its modules appear to help users develop insight into anxiety and depressive symptoms. It suggests mindfulness exercises. This could lead to positive behavior change or to skill aquisition.
Does the app improve therapeutic alliance between patient and provider?
This has not been studied or confirmed. The website indicates there is a potential for an improved therapeutic alliance: "As a doctor or psychotherapist, the reliable data collected during the screening will be an asset for you. This data is based on three daily sets of questions, asked in the daily life of the patients. Moodpath generates an automated clinical report for you. This pdf document informs you about the symptoms that have been confirmed. It also includes recommendation regarding which further examinations make sense for differential diagnoses. Furthermore, we are currently developing a software solution for doctors and psychotherapists. Please sign-up if you want to stay up to date on new developments regarding that solution."