Evaluation of the App Using APA Guidelines Tweet
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has developed a set of criteria for evaluating medical apps. The following is an evaluation of Mental Health Scales using these criteria:
Step 1: Background Information
Mental Health Scales is an informative tool, developed in close coordination with Dr. Carol Peyser, a Board-certified adult psychiatrist with extensive research and clinical experience. It comprises a series of well established mental health rating scales chosen by Dr. Peyser to meet the real life needs of the health care professional. There are no hidden costs, in app purchases, or advertising. The app is regularly updated to add new features and adapt to Apple's changing iOS operating system.
Step 2: Risk/Privacy & Security
No data is transmitted to Apps & More Software Design, Inc., or any other party. Data may be exported via email, messaging, or Air Print, strictly under control of the user. The only data collected are the test results, and these remain on the device. No data is transmitted to "the cloud". No data exported by the user includes the client's name, only an alternative ID chosen by the user. Data can be deleted at any time. If the app is deleted, all of its data is also deleted.
All data is encrypted using Apple's hardware encryption. The app itself can be password protected, or as an alternative biometrically protected using Touch ID or Face ID on devices equipped with Touch ID or Face ID. A special "Client Mode" allows a human subject to use one of the included tests on the device without access to other tests or other persons' data.
Step 3: Evidence
All mental health rating scales and other tests included have been shown to be effective in peer reviewed journals. References are included on the app's Help pages.
Step 4: Ease of Use
The app is straightforward to use by anyone with minimal familiarity with iPhone and iPad and requires no Internet connection. All test results are kept on the device until deleted, and these results can be reviewed at any time.
Step 5: Interoperability
The user owns and controls all data collected. Test results can be exported via email, the Messages app, or Air Print. Data cannot be shared with other apps.