To Use or Not? Evaluating ASPECTS of Smartphone Apps and Mobile Technology for Clinical Care in Psychiatry

J Clin Psychiatry. 2016 Jun;77(6):e734-8. doi: 10.4088/JCP.15com10619.


In this commentary, we discuss smartphone apps for psychiatry and the lack of resources to assist clinicians in evaluating the utility, safety, and efficacy of apps. Evaluating an app requires new considerations that are beyond those employed in evaluating a medication or typical clinical intervention. Based on our software engineering, informatics, and clinical knowledge and experiences, we propose an evaluation framework, "ASPECTS," to spark discussion about apps and aid clinicians in determining whether an app is Actionable, Secure, Professional, Evidence-based, Customizable, and TranSparent. Clinicians who use the ASPECTS guide will be more informed and able to make more thorough evaluations of apps.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mobile Applications*
  • Physician's Role / psychology
  • Psychiatry / methods*
  • Smartphone*
  • Software
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*