Top Mental Health App Ideas for Startups
The last decades have made mental health problems much more visible than before. People talk about mental illness more, consider them more seriously, and the infrastructure for dealing with symptoms has grown significantly.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, in 2020 one out of five adults in the United States live with mental illness. It is about 53 million people only in the USA who regularly feel discomfort due to their psychological state. All of them need some assistance — whether it’s attending a psychiatrist in their neighborhood, taking pills, or trying to improve themselves on their own.
All these people would win from having some kind of app that would help them reduce struggling and increase happiness levels. That’s what mental health apps are about — bringing calm to people’s lives and making them happier. If you want to create a startup and think about what exactly you should do — mental health apps are definitely something to consider as they are not only in demand, but also bring good to this world.
Mental health apps bring even more awareness to mental health issues in people’s lives, and more people start taking preventative steps to decline mental health problems before it develops into something serious.
Benefits of mental health apps
Let’s outline the importance of apps for mental health. Why do people need them, what can they do better than an ordinary therapist in the vicinity, and what are their benefits?
Both patients and healthcare professionals win from mental health apps. Therapists can reach more people in less time, and patients don’t need to look for a doctor in their own city, wasting their time traveling to the clinic.
Less stress, more happiness
Depression, burning out, stress, and anxiety are one of the most common mental disorders today. They became as usual as morning coffee, and almost everyone experiences them once in a while. There is a scope of mental health apps targeting this audience: they help to reduce stress through meditation or other conscious practices. This results in a more calm, happy, and stable society.
Immediate access from anywhere
Physical visits to clinics are no longer needed to get a proper consultation with a therapist or doctor. This benefit brings out two more. Foremost, people can get help immediately and at any time, if needed. Imagine how many people need help at the darkest moments when nobody is around them. That’s when mental health apps emerge in all their efficiency. Secondly, people from remote regions and small settlements win from mental healthcare mobile apps. Living far from big cities doesn’t mean you don’t have to deal with mental health problems, but unfortunately in remote regions usually you can’t find a good clinic or a proper therapist if there is one. Mental health apps bring help to places where it is needed.
People undergoing mental health treatment need to keep in mind all the medication, doses, and when to administer them. Sometimes it is hard to handle. Some mental health apps are created to solve this problem: they are making data recording and monitoring easy and convenient. This is good not only for a patient but also for doctors and psychotherapists as later they can get the data analyzed and draw the necessary conclusions from it.
If the app is connecting healthcare providers with people who need treatment, it can provide immediate feedback according to the service the patient has used. This results in fast improvement of services and creating a better experience for patients with each feedback received.
Types of mental health apps
There are certain types of mental health apps. Before we continue with ideas for mental health apps, let’s quickly go through their types, each of which is intended to solve different types of problems.
Mental Disorder Apps
They are generally made for patients who are already diagnosed and need to stick with treatment, but don’t want or can do it offline. Mainly, they are apps for connecting patients with healthcare providers, like an online clinic. Here one can go through a course of therapy right in the app or attend several consultations with different specialists if needed. But also, mental disorder apps can not include the second parties as healthcare providers — they can also be just self-guided programs for dealing with different types of mental illness.
Anxiety and Stress Management Apps
In a 2020 survey, 62% of respondents reported experiencing some degree of anxiety. Thus, anxiety becomes one of the most common psychological problems among ordinary people — those we see every day in queues, at cafes, at work, and in shopping malls. It can be described as persistent, undue worries that just don’t go away. And with anxiety there is always stress — people experience it under external triggers such as conflicts at work or in personal life that often lead to anger, fatigue, and even muscle pain. People all over the world struggle to build inner calmness and mental strength, and you can help them by developing a relevant app. A distinguished stress management app will be widely recognized by people all over the world.
Monitoring mood swings, empowering positive thinking, fighting addiction, sleep improvement, or just keeping oneself motivated — are some examples of what self-improvement apps could be aimed at. The most recognizable such apps are Calm and Headspace, which offers meditations, calm music, and practices for deep introspection or better sleeping. Apps of this type are usually used widely all over the world and are easy to scale even more.
Mental health app ideas
Online therapy app
These types of apps are specially designed for people with mental disorders, who need to see a therapist regularly. With this app, treatment will be accessible to everyone. People struggling with depression or psychosis can discuss their worries and problems with a qualified specialist from the comfort of their homes. This can significantly reduce patient resistance to taking the first step toward treatment. They don’t have to leave their comfort zone, they can choose from a bunch of different specialists and try different ones until they find the right one. This searching process doesn’t include traveling to a dozen different clinics, that is what makes it convenient and attractive.
Features to include:
- matching client with a therapist
Based on patients’ preferences, special needs, and disorder particulars, the app can make the perfect match with a therapist, whose qualifications will satisfy patients’ requests.
- therapists review
Making it possible for users to leave feedback to therapists they’ve spoken with will also make it much easier for newcomers to find the perfect match among all the specialists.
- video, audio, or text chat
Video chat is essential for therapy, though for some customers it will be easier to start using a less personalized and more anonymous way like texting. Aiming to create the perfect environment, we have to prepare for all situations that could take place dealing with mental disorders.
Self-managing app for people with mental disorders
The target audience for this type of app is the same as for the previous one, but this doesn’t include direct communication with specialists. These apps come more as a supplement to a therapy that is in process, which makes it easier to deal with mental disorder symptoms.
Before starting the development of such an application, you need to consult with specialists or invite several to your team. A person without a medical education will not be able to create a real working application that can make life easier for people with serious mental illnesses. Depression, psychosis, and schizophrenia will all have different features, and they all need to be considered.
Features to include:
Only regular exercises will help to achieve the result. Notifications will remind the user about tasks that need to be completed.
It will help clients track their way and the improvements they make going through it
- medication tracker
People diagnosed with mental illness usually are prescribed meds. To make treatment more convenient, app can remind what pills and when the user has to consume.
The apps listed below will be aimed at mentally healthy people who want to improve their lives, track their moods, cultivate positive thinking and break bad habits.
Having a good quality night’s sleep is essential for having a good quality of life. But nowadays a lot of people are struggling with it. According to the Philips Global Sleep Survey conducted in 2019, 62% of adults around the world say they don’t sleep as well as they would like. And 8 out of 10 adults would like to improve their sleep. Sleep apps suggest different ways to bring more quality to your sleep and help fall asleep faster: through relaxing music, sleep meditation, or relaxing interactive games.
Features to include:
- sleep tracker
So that customers can not only feel results by having better sleep at night, but also see it on the reports.
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Mood tracker app
Mood, symptoms, day-to-day activities, thoughts: through these applications, you can make your customers track anything, depending on needs and your target audience. They are useful for noticing mood swings and triggers that cause them. For a better understanding of causes and consequences, you can add to your features a detailed private journal.
Mindfulness and meditation are a huge trend over the last few years and the demand keeps increasing. According to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of people practicing meditation has tripled since 2012.
Meditations help reduce stress, be more concentrated, get grounded, understand yourself and your feelings better, and reach inner calmness. These applications are still on the rise today. In 2015 the U.S. meditation market was estimated to be valued at $959 million, growing to $1.08 billion in 2016 and $1.21 billion in 2017. Annual revenue growth is expected to be 11.4%, to $2.08 billion by 2022. If you analyze the meditation apps market and find out how you can fill the unmet demand, you can definitely get your share of the market.
This type of apps is for everybody. They are really diverse and can be for any aim you can imagine: overcoming fears, breaking bad habits, cultivating positive thinking, creating new habits like reading, running, and doing breath practices. As there is a wide range of different types of these apps, first you need to answer the question about your target audience and what problem of the self-improvement field will this app solve.
I have an idea for a mental health app. What should I do next?
Short answer: implement!
Long answer: divide the implementation process into the following stages and follow them to success:
- Choose and analyze the target audience
- Make market research and analyze your competitors
- Create an MVP
- Push to the market by marketing activities
- Update according to feedback from users
The topic of mental health has been gaining momentum in recent years and has no plans to stop. For ambitious entrepreneurs who want to invest in an application that will be both useful for people and profitable for the owner, mental health app is one of the best choices today. You just need to select the idea that seems most promising and go ahead.