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Towards a consensus around standards for smartphone apps and digital mental health

John Torous, John; Anderson, Gerhard; Bertagnoli, Andrew; Christensen, Helen; Cuijpers, Pim; Firth, Joseph; Haim, Adam; Hsin, Honor; Hollis, Chris; Lewis, Sh�n; Mohr, David C.; Pratap, Abhishek; Roux, Spencer; Sherrill, Joel; Arean, Patricia A.


John John Torous

Gerhard Anderson

Andrew Bertagnoli

Helen Christensen

Pim Cuijpers

Joseph Firth

Adam Haim

Honor Hsin

Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Digital Mental Health

Sh�n Lewis

David C. Mohr

Abhishek Pratap

Spencer Roux

Joel Sherrill

Patricia A. Arean


Mental disorders impact one in four people worldwide, yet access to care is challenging for those who suffer from them1. Mental health apps offer the potential to overcome access barriers for the nearly three billion people projected to own a smartphone by 2020. Although there are over 10,000 mental health apps commercially available, there are few resources available to help end users (patients, clinicians and health care organizations) to evaluate the quality and suitability of these products. Thus, there is an urgent need for an agreement about appropriate standards, principles and practices in research and evaluation of these tools.
We represent leaders in mHealth research, industry and health care systems from around the globe, and we seek here to promote consensus on implementing these standards and principles for the evaluation of mental health apps. At a minimum, standards should include consideration of: a) data safety and privacy, b) effectiveness, c) user experience/adherence, d) data integration. Our consensus on the challenges and recommendations in each of these areas is presented below.


John Torous, J., Anderson, G., Bertagnoli, A., Christensen, H., Cuijpers, P., Firth, J., …Arean, P. A. (2019). Towards a consensus around standards for smartphone apps and digital mental health. World Psychiatry, 18(1), 97-98.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 5, 2018
Online Publication Date Jan 2, 2019
Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 3, 2020
Journal World Psychiatry
Electronic ISSN 2051-5545
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Pages 97-98
Public URL
Publisher URL


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