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Complete Guide on Mental Health App: Development, Features, Cost Estimate and Design Ideas

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    Posted in Mental Health

    Last Updated | March 14, 2023

    Mental Health App

    There is a huge gap between mental healthcare demand and supply. With the technological revolution in healthcare, mental health apps have attempted to bridge this gap through mental health applications. Let’s dig into the details of the mental health app and how these apps are developed. This article will help you understand everything about a mental health app from its development to the cost estimate and much more. 

    Development Process of a Mental Health App

    Development Process of a Mental Health App

    Here, we will concentrate on how you can develop a mental health app and focus on development aspects specific to mental wellness apps.

    i. Conduct proper research 

    If you want to develop a good mental health app, you need to have a clear vision of the type of app you want to make. Mental Health app development solutions need to know what the audience is looking for. It depends on what problems your app aims to solve and what type of health concerns are dealt with using your application. 

    It is also important to apprehend your target audience. Certain mental health conditions are more specific and common for a particular age group. Hence, you need to focus on that particular age group and their interests. 

    Many factors other than age will impact your choice of platforms, content, design etc. These factors include the audience’s interests and preferences, financial standing, and cultural exceptions, etc. 

    One of the few examples could be a mental health development for women and their interests. Women may experience hormonal changes that can affect their mood and overall well-being. Women may also face specific stressors arising through balancing their work-life, caregiving responsibilities, and societal expectations.

    To name a few women’s health apps, tracking menstrual cycles and mood changes, exercises for stress and anxiety relief, and resources for managing work-life balance. As research progresses on developing a new mental health app, it may be prolific to consider incorporating these features into the app’s design.

    In addition to focusing on the users, you may need to research the market and the competition. Detailed analysis of the market and your competitors can benefit you to identify the best and worst methods used in mental health app development in your niche. This useful piece of information can help you design an app far more appealing than your competitors’.  

    ii. Engage the right mental health app developers

    You first need to gather developers for your developing team. You will need:  

      • Android developer
      • iOS developer
      • Web developer
      • Server-side developer
      • UX/UI designer
      • 2-3 quality assurance (QA) specialists
      • Project manager

    Unqualified team can result in failure of the app development. It is most practical to hire experienced developers who have already worked on health-related projects. They should know all the ins and outs of GDPR or HIPAA compliance and other technicalities.

    iii. Prototype and create the UX/UI design

    Prototyping entitles verifying design ideas and ensures that the features work as planned. You first need to map out a plan for your application. Focus on the finest details. Likewise, your app’s color scheme, designs, and distinct brand elements will be created.

    You need to make sure that the user interface of the app is appealing. 

    iv. Have the MVP built and tested

    The app must meet all applicable user-friendliness and security requirements.  All types of testing are important to mental health app development:

    • Functional testing
    • Usability testing
    • Interface testing
    • Compatibility testing
    • Performance testing
    • Security testing

    Once your application has been entirely tested and made accordingly, submit it to an app store – and you are done.

    Mental health

    Best Features of a Good Mental Health App

    Best Features of a Good Mental Health App

    To make your app more appealing, you must inculcate a few features in your mental health app like: 

    i. Self-monitoring options –  tracking options are essential for nearly any kind of mental health app. You can include trackers for mood, meal, sleep, medicine, habits, etc. You can also include a journal or a diary section for users to note down whatever they want to. 

    ii. Analytics – It is important for any user or patient to see his or her progress. So it’s a great idea to develop some diagrams, tables, charts, etc.

    iii. Emergency support – You can include an option for instant connection of a user with his or her coach. This feature is particularly very important for people suffering from anxiety and depression. 

    iv. Notifications & reminders – You can inculcate short yet motivating reminders. This can engage the users more, and also motivate them to proceed with keeping a journal. 

    v. Gamification details – Along with reminders and notifications, you can also include game-like features. These features also drive attention and inspiration. Consider including objectives and goals, reward points, and inspirational quotes in your app.

    vi. Educational section – You can inspire your users to enlighten themselves about mental wellbeing. 

    Cost of Development of a Mental Health App

    Now that you know what features you need to include into your app, let’s talk about one of the most important aspects of telemedicine software development: the cost to create a mental health app. 

    Cost of Mental health app development varies widely. It can cost between $40,000 to $75,000. The cost of developing such apps depends on scope, features and development effort required to build an app.

    Here is a detailed analysis of how much a mental health app cost: 

    • A basic mental health app can cost you around $25,000.
    • A mid-level app with costs $30,000.
    • An app that can offer it’s user on-demand mental health appointment booking costs $50,000.
    • An AI mental health app with a chatbot can cost $55,000 to $80,000 depending on the data and its scope.
    • A mental health app specific for certain mental health complications like for ADHD or PTSD will cost around $65,000 to $75,000.

    You can also learn how to integrate the best EHR software for mental health with billing software for Mental Health professionals.

    Mental Health App problems

    Let’s now address a few problems a user might experience while using mental health apps.

    • Unintended Consequences: Inaccurate Information and Self-Diagnosis
    • Clinical Validation and Efficacy
    • Privacy of Patient Information
    • Patient Safety and Risk
    • Addressing Unintended Consequences

    Mental health

    Design Ideas for the Interface of Mental Health App

    User Interface design in healthcare apps  makes them easy to use and engaging. 

    Automating the following parts can raise the productivity of the app:

    • Appointment bookings,
    • Patient registrations,
    • Payment processing,
    • Symptom controls,
    • Prescriptions.

    To track patient progress, EHR integration for mental health is a wonderful idea to allow users to track their progress. 

    i. User-Centered Design

    User-centered design is all about focusing on your users and their demands. You must Identify your user’s thoughts, feelings, desires, and struggles. This can help you design an app with UI that appeals the users and make them want to use the app to track their progress.

    ii. Design a list of Basic Features

    Before creating UI/UX design, you should choose a list of basic features. You do not need to overload the application with complex functionality. You must create a clear information architecture so that all the information in the app is focused and organized. After that, you can start the UI/UX design process.

    At the UI design stage, you need to create a design system or UI kit that will contain all the visual elements of your application (icons, buttons, input fields, fonts, colors, etc.). Include the following steps into your development procedure. 

    • Wireframing (creating a rough sketch of the application screen) 
    • Prototyping (creating an interactive model of a future product).  
    • Testing. (carried out to see if the application has been developed according to the plan)  

    iii. A Few Things to Keep in Mind:

    The user interface should not contain elaborated elements or bright colors. These two features can potentially trigger disorder aggravation. 

    You need to pay extra attention to audial effects: make sure to dodge sharp, loud sounds. Instead you can include mild tunes or sounds of nature to have a soothing effect on the users. 

    FAQs – Mental Health App

    i. How to find the right mental app for you ?

    To choose the best mental health app for you, we imply that you evaluate apps using four main criteria. 

    • Check an app’s privacy policy and controls 
    • Check whether the app is beneficial or not 
    • Assess how easy and enjoyable an app is to use
    •  Find out if an app can integrate with other supports

    These features can help you select the best mental health app according to your demands. 

    ii. What app can help me with my mental health?

    If you want to focus on a specific mental health concern of yours, we suggest you to use the following applications –

    Suicide Prevention Apps – MY3, notOK

    General Mental Health Apps – What’s up, Mood Kit.

    Addiction Apps– Twenty-four hours a day, Quit That! – Habit Tracker

    Anxiety Apps – MindShift, Self-Help for Anxiety Management (SAM), CBT Thought Diary

    Bipolar Disorder Apps – IMoodJournal, eMoods.

    Depression Apps– Talkspace Online Therapy, Happify.

    iii. How much do online therapy apps cost?

    Online therapy can cost you an average of $49.45 – $77.50 per week or about $198 – $310 monthly. But it may be influenced by the number of sessions you take and the kind of services you acquire.