What is the health of mental health apps?


The Best Technology to Augment Mental Health Services

The impact COVID-19 has on our mental health is expected to last beyond any physical health issues. Fears of stigma mean our key workers are amongst the least likely to engage with traditional mental health services(1).

Digital therapies can achieve comparable outcomes to face-to-face therapy(2), and young men and boys say they would prefer online support, advice, and counseling (3). But how do you find the right Digital Health solutions? ORCHA has reviewed 584 mental health apps to find the best.

Today, we share a snapshot of the quality of apps across a wide range of mental health conditions, and Dr. Tom Micklewright discusses his views on apps that have scored well in ORCHA’s Review. 


What is the Health of Mental Health Apps?

Health apps are convenient and discreet, easily accessed with the tap of a button. But, amongst the 3,857 mental health apps available in unregulated app stores(3), which apps are safe?

Our Review Team has assessed apps that help people experiencing anxiety, depression, self-harm, panic attacks, and thinking of suicide. Each app was assessed against more than 260 criteria across Clinical Assurance, Data Privacy, and User Experience. We discovered that only 29.6% meet our quality threshold, and this figure dipped far lower for certain mental health conditions. We also identified gaps, where there are no apps designed to meet specific patient needs…

Read more here


Dr. Micklewright’s Review of Top Apps

There is no one Digital Health Technology that works for everyone with a mental health condition. To achieve good results, an app needs to engage and meet specific needs.

In the below video, Dr. Tom Micklewright shares his independent views on mental health apps that achieve good ORCHA Scores and are each designed to meet the needs of specific patient groups, including children, teenagers, students, those with suicidal thoughts, and autistic patients or patients with a learning difficulty.

ORCHA is part of the NHS England National Innovation Accelerator Programme. We work with health bodies across the world to unlock the power of Digital Health, including NHS organizations in 50% of regions. Our vision is to revolutionize care through the safe integration of digital health solutions into all aspects of health and care services, leading to more patient-centered, effective care. 

ORCHA provides tailored microsites and prescription services and helps organizations across the world to integrate health and care apps safely into practice. To find out how ORCHA can help you, please get in touch.



A full list of sources is detailed below our ‘What is the health of mental health apps?’ blog, which can be found here.