Despite the improvements made in recent years, mental health is a subsection of wellness that is still largely overlooked by the medical community. There is a shortage of mental health providers, and the ones practicing are unevenly distributed across the country. Rural and low-income areas, therefore, are less likely to have access to care.
That’s why digital tools like smartphone apps and wearables to track mental health are such game-changers, providing treatment options to a wider range of people. Scientists and developers alike say these devices have tremendous potential for the future.
Want to improve your mental health? Check out these wearables for stress management, anxiety treatment, and more. They’re the perfect complement for today’s poplar wellness apps and advanced treatments being procured by smart devices.
The Apollo Neuro smart band is marketed as a “wearable hug” that users can wear around their wrist or ankle to reap the benefits of touch therapy. Designed by neuroscientists and physicians, the device emits soundless and soothing vibrations that signal to your nervous system to remain calm.
It’s a drug-free stress solution that can actually improve your mental health, rather than simply monitoring it. As the device “learns” your body with continuous use, your heart rate variability improves, making you more resilient against stress. Over time, the Apollo retrains your nervous system, so you can more easily manage stress. The results? Better sleep, improved focus, and inner balance.
The Abilify MyCite solution is an ecosystem that helps treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression in adults. It starts with a prescription pill containing a small sensor made of ingredients found in most diets and roughly the size of a grain of sand. The sensor communicates with a smart patch using Bluetooth technology and tells the patch when the pill was taken.
Additionally, the patch tracks data points like activity and time spent resting, similar to a standard fitness tracker. Users can consult their MyCite app or desktop dashboard to see and share their biodata with their healthcare provider(s). Research shows that up to 75% of patients with schizophrenia don’t regularly take their medication, and there are serious consequences of nonadherence. The MyCite system can keep these patients on track for a lifetime of better mental health.
In the same vein as the Apollo Neuro smart band, TouchPoints products use vibrations to change your body’s response to stress from fight or flight to calm and in control. The devices come as a pair, and you can choose to wear them as wristbands, attach them to your clothing, or keep them in your pockets.
There are also three settings—slow, medium, and fast. Together, the two devices’ BLAST (Bi-lateral Alternating Stimulation Tactile) technology is proven to reduce cortisol, the hormone produced as a response to stress. You’ll stay calm and focused, and experience improved sleep.
Based in Toronto, Awake Labs is testing a Samsung smartwatch app that tracks the emotional states of adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The app, which connects with caregivers, improves response time and helps caregivers “be there” for their patients who are dealing with stressors.
This allows patients to live more independently but still have easy access to care when needed. Upon first use, the smartwatch collects biodata to establish a baseline so it can more accurately identify real-time changes in stress responses. Caregivers and clinicians are notified of early changes via a smartphone app, and they can see these changes on timeline and scatterplot graphs to determine if there are patterns, which can inform treatment.
Though there are many promising devices already on the market, researchers agree the best device to improve mental health is the smartphone. More than three-fourths of Americans are smartphone owners, meaning they are already primed to access apps and other online programs that can benefit their mental health.
Smartphones also have sensors that can track movement and other data points, and they can connect with wearable devices using Bluetooth technology. There are plenty of privacy and data-sharing concerns with health apps, but there are already a few approved by the FDA. Pear Therapeutics developed reSET and reSET-O, which are proven to help those struggling with addiction improve abstinence from alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, and opioids.
Connect Your Wearable Mental Health Devices with ModoBio
What if all your biodata from your wearable mental health devices and all your apps was in one place, where you could connect with other health and wellness professionals to make the most of your biodata to improve personal wellbeing?
Modo Bio connects with personal fitness, nutrition, health and wellness devices that you love and use daily to help users leverage the benefits of the biodata provided by these devices to improve personal health and wellness. Learn more.