Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Depression Apps

In My Three Shrinks Podcast #63 (recorded last Sunday, to be out as soon as Clinkshrink completes it), we talked about  reviewed iTunes apps helpful for screening for or tracking depression. I will provide a bit more focus on this topic here.

I recently wrote an article for Clinical Psychiatry News referring to the iPad as the new physician's "black bag." One of those tools might be a depression tracking app, to be used by patients or by providers responsible for treating patients. So, I went to the App Store (sorry Android users, I don't have one of those gizmos yet) and searched for the keyword "depression" and narrowed it down by filtering for apps which met the following criteria: Medical category; a rating of at least 3 stars; and at least 100 ratings.

Five apps came up:

3D brain

  • 9600 ratings
  • not a rating tool but a nice 3D map of the brain
  • interactive features

Sad Scale Lite

  • 800 ratings
  • uses a Zung depression rating scale


  • 700 ratings
  • uses a 27-item validated screen for depression, bipolar, PTSD, and anxiety
  • displays graph of scores over time
  • ability to send to your doctor
  • also has a physician dashboard for reviewing trend of scores for all your patients

Moody Me

  • 600 ratings
  • an emoticon-based mood diary
  • displays a graph of your scores over time

Health through Breathing: Pranayama

  • 300 ratings
  • not a rating tool, but a highly-rated meditation tool
  • some graphing functions

If you have used any of these, please tell us about your experience. If you have others you like, let us know.

*Disclosure: I have consulted for and collaborate with M3, the makers of DepressionCheck.