Dr. Julie Kinn, T2 clinical psychologist on February 12, 2013
It's difficult to estimate how many of my psychotherapy patients actually completed homework between sessions. For those who returned to my office with an automatic thought record or other tracking tool, I'm guessing at least half completed it while sitting in the waiting room.
One of the reasons National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) developed the "T2 Mood Tracker" mobile app was to help patients have an easy and anonymous way to monitor, track and reference their moods and behaviors as well as other related health information over time. Instead of completing worksheets, users can slide buttons on their smartphone or tablet computer. And, to anyone looking over a user's shoulder, it just looks like he or she is playing a game, not actually completing therapy homework. Further, it's unusual to lose a phone or tablet, whereas those worksheets seem to magically disappear each week.
Mood Tracker 3.0
Service members in treatment using the "T2 Mood Tracker" mobile app asked for a way to send the information they've tracked to their health care provider. Well, I'm happy to share that the latest version of the app does just that. Patients can now create and send reports to their provider — colorful graphs in PDF format or spreadsheets that can be opened in Microsoft Excel. We also updated the graphics and charting tool to make the app easier to use (and added a snazzy logo).
"T2 Mood Tracker" has been one of our most popular apps for both service members in treatment and clinicians, and we're looking forward to seeing how the added capabilities improve patient-provider collaboration. The mobile app is free and available for Apple and Android devices.
In the spirit of increasing patient-provider communication, T2 recently released the "BioZen" mobile app, one of the first apps allowing users to link to multiple physiological sensors simultaneously. Now, clinicians and patients can use biofeedback without the heavy equipment and cumbersome wires (via Bluetooth). Read more about the app on the T2 website and try out "BioZen" on your Android devices.
We hope you'll share with us your feedback and welcome other ideas for mobile apps that help provider-patient collaboration. For more on mental health and technology, subscribe to the new T2 Mobile Health Blog!
Dr. Julie Kinn is the deputy director of the Mobile Health Program at National Center for Telehealth and Technology, a Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury center. She oversees the development of mobile health applications to support the military community.