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Equitable and Informed Digital Mental Health: Skills, Evaluation, and Integration of Apps into Care

Keywords: smartphone apps; mhealth; psychiatry; digital health; digital literacy

Published onNov 03, 2021
Equitable and Informed Digital Mental Health: Skills, Evaluation, and Integration of Apps into Care

As interest in digital mental health tools, like smartphone apps, expands it is important to ensure equity. Both patients and clinicians today are often unaware of the risks and benefits of using apps, and thus informed decision making remains a challenge. Equally concerning, many people whom health apps are targeted towards have never been taught the skills around downloading and using mobile technology, raising the issue of a second digital divide beyond device or internet access. In this symposium we present the latest evidence around app evaluation and digital literacy in regards to smartphone apps and digital devices for health with a focus on mental health. We also report on three innovative approaches to bridge the digital divide: the Mobile-Health Index and Navigation Database (MIND) for app evaluation, the Digital Opportunities for Obtaining Resources and Skills (DOORS) program to teach digital literacy, and the Digital Navigator Program open to all for training a new team member able to help implement digital health technology into diverse care settings. The symposium will present evidence from all three programs, offer hands-on demonstration, and provide actionable links and tools that audience members can take home and implement immediately.

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