THE FUTURE OF SMARTPHONE APPLICATIONS TO REDUCE AND TREAT DEPRESSION
Since the advent of the mobile phone and the smartphone, the cityscape is flooded with zombies with its head down to its screen and thumb sharp. It is not uncommon to speak to his interlocutor and it is not disturbed to listen to us half while watching his phone the latest he paid more than his rent.
These remarks on the invasion of new technologies and their intrusion into our daily lives are not to be taken lightly. Even if the smartphone makes many services and can be used with intelligence, it changes our life, our communication and our behavior, which is not anecdotal. This cognitive unloading would even affect our thinking processes for problem solving, recall and learning.
However, apart from the negative aspects of the use of NICTs and more specifically of the smartphone, new Australian research has confirmed that applications for smartphones are an effective treatment option for depression, paving the way for safe and accessible interventions for the millions of people in the world diagnosed with this mental disorder.
MOBILE APPLICATIONS FOR MENTAL HEALTH
The depression is the most common mental disorder worldwide. To treat and cure this growing disease researchers at the National Institute of Complementary Medicine ( NICM ) and the Black Dog Institute in Australia, of the Harvard Medical School (USA), the University of Manchester (England) have examined the effectiveness of smartphone-based treatments for depression.
The researchers analyzed 18 randomized controlled trials that examined a total of 22 different mental health interventions. The studies included more than 3,400 men and women aged 18 to 59 years with a range of symptoms and mental health disorders, including major depression, mild to moderate depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety and the insomnia.
THE WAY FOR DIGITAL THERAPIES
Published on September 21, 2017 in the journal World Psychiatry , the study found that smartphone applications greatly reduced people’s depressive symptoms, suggesting that these new digital therapies may be useful in managing depressive states.
This important discovery provides a new opportunity to provide accessible and affordable care to patients who may not have access to treatment. The majority of people in developed countries possess smartphones, including young people who are increasingly affected by depression.
Combined with rapid technological advances in this area, these devices may ultimately be able to provide instantly accessible and highly effective treatments for depression , thereby reducing the societal and economic burden of this condition worldwide.
These results open pathways for non-stigmatizing and autonomous care. The data shows us that smartphones can help people to monitor, understand and manage their own mental health.
The use of mobile applications as part of an “integrative medicine” approach (simultaneous use of conventional medicine and alternative medicine) for depression has been shown to be particularly useful for improving mood and addressing symptoms in these patients patients.
Smartphones can help people monitor their own mental health
When it comes to saying “which application is best?” “And” for whom? , The results suggested that these interventions so far may be more applicable to those who have mild to moderate depression because the benefits over major depression have not yet been extensively studied. The researchers found no difference in applications that apply management principles to cognitive behavioral behavior or mood monitoring programs.
Despite initial promising results, there is currently no evidence suggesting that the use of single applications can outweigh standard psychological therapies or reduce the need for antidepressant drugs.
The dependence of our memory on the internet
But according to one of the co-authors of this research and this digital psychiatry program , “this research is a promising step forward in the use of smartphones in mental health. Now, patients and doctors are faced with a wide range of mental health applications, and knowing which ones are actually helpful is imperative. This research provides essential information on the effectiveness of depression applications and offers important clues about the types of applications that can help patients manage their condition.
Finally, knowing that applications can be effective in managing depression, future research must now investigate which characteristics produce these beneficial effects.
Given the multitude of applications available, many of which are not regulated, it is essential to unlock the specific attributes of the applications that have the best benefits, to ensure that all applications available for people with depression are effective.