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CRI Releases appImpact, Guide to Using Mobile Tech in Behavioral Healthcare

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In collaboration with the D.N. Batten Foundation, Centerstone Research Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving behavioral healthcare through research and information technology, today released appImpact, a guide to integrating mobile technology into behavioral healthcare.

From selection and implementation to evaluation, appImpact offers behavioral healthcare providers the framework needed to realize improved outcomes and cost savings through the use of mobile technologies in healthcare—otherwise known as mHealth.

“More than 90 percent of Americans own a cell phone and 64 percent own smartphones,” said Tom Doub, PhD, CEO of Centerstone Research Institute. “Our goal is to capitalize on these widely available technologies to help make healthcare more convenient, accessible and effective for both clinicians and patients.”

With an increasing number of the more than 1.3 million Android apps and 1.2 million Apple apps being dedicated to health goals, it is imperative that healthcare organizations select and implement the right app to achieve the right outcomes. appImpact serves as a step-by-step roadmap for organizations integrating mobile technologies into care models. Beginning with identifying the patients’ needs and the organization’s goals, the framework established in appImpact helps agencies select the most effective tools.

Additionally, appImpact outlines the evaluation process for measuring apps’ effectiveness. Data gathered through the evaluation process will help organizations, and the behavioral health industry as a whole, assess the usefulness and effectiveness of particular apps and fuel their adoption in future programs.

The framework is available for download now.

Innovative programs, such as the Research Institute’s coactionHealth, have proven that mHealth can improve outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The coactionHealth clinical intervention model integrates mHealth and data analytics into a coordinated care program. By leveraging mobile technology, coactionHealth has been able to keep high-cost patients—those with more than $25,000 in annual healthcare costs—out of the hospital, reducing hospital days by 51 percent and emergency room days by 23 percent.

“There are heaps of health-related apps available on the market. Some are great but others aren’t,” Doub added. “appImpact helps providers cut through the clutter to use the best tool in the right program to effectively treat patients. These technologies are changing the behavioral healthcare landscape, and CRI’s framework and best practices help providers stay on the leading edge of mHealth solutions.”

The appImpact project was funded by generous support from the D.N. Batten Foundation. The D.N. Batten Foundation provides opportunities for more people to live healthy, fruitful lives, especially through the promotion of healthier environmental conditions and increased access to quality mental healthcare. It is based in Charlottesville, Va.