Since 9/11, the country has been at war. This longest conflict in US history has resulted in an enormous number of active duty soldiers and veterans with mental health concerns. Part of the response to these issues was the creation of numerous apps by the Department of Defense National Center for Telehealth and Technology (AKA T2). These apps are targeted for both patients and providers and cover topics ranging from depression, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder to traumatic brain injury and resiliency. One of the most popular apps they have released to date has been T2 Mood Tracker. Previously on iMedicalApps we reviewed an unrelated app developed by a patient with bipolar disorder called Mood Watch.
T2 Mood Tracker was developed by psychologists at T2 and has become popular with civilian as well as military and veteran patients. The purpose of the app is to provide patients the ability to track their mood and behavior in order to identify trends or triggers. The data is ideal for patients receiving cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as the data can track mood between visits and can be shared with their healthcare providers. This is an app that can get into a patient’s “white space”–the time when patients are NOT with a healthcare provider (approximately 525,000 minutes per year). There is not a lot of robust data for mood tracker, but the DOD has performed some research using T2 Mood Tracker with service members and veterans. One published study showed the app was “beneficial, easy to use, and useful” and was useful for PTSD symptoms, chronic health conditions and bipolar symptoms.
The app allows patients to record their mood via multiple categories such as anxiety, depression, stress, etc. In each category, patients can adjust simple sliders for common mood questions and add more detailed notes. All of this information can be tracked and graphed on the app. The data can be saved offline by patients and or shared with providers. All of the data is “sandboxed” on the device and cannot be “seen” by anyone but the patient without their deliberately doing so.
Evidence based medicine
There is not much evidence for mood tracking, but no evidence of harm either. The few studies published have been small and lack much statistical power. However, most providers would love to get more data on how patients feel between visits and apps like this empower patients.
Who would benefit from this App?
Patients with mood disorders, students, residents, mid-levels, primary care providers, mental health providers, any provider who treats these patients.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
- Simple to use interface.
- Ability to customize app by adding new categories.
- Can graph data in multiple ways and view offline/share with providers.
- Some graphing functions are difficult to view.
- Would be nice to see more evidence to support tracking by patients.
- Directions for use are sufficient but a video tutorial would be better.
T2 Mood Tracker is a well-designed app that both patients and providers could utilize. The app is mostly intuitive for patients to use. Providers who care for patients with mood disorders should consider recommending patients try this app and bring their data to their provider visits.
- Overall Score
- User Interface
Design is simple, but easy to use by patients and easy for providers to instruct patients on use.
- Multimedia Usage
App has ability to graph data, share data offline and app includes helplines and other methods for patients to seek care.
App is free.
- Real World Applicability
A simple app that could change the way many providers interact with patients suffering from mood disorders.
- Device Used For Review
iPhone 6S running iOS 9.1
- Available for DownloadAndroidiPhoneiPad