The below evaluation is an example of the types of information you may find when using our Model to assess specific apps. This sample evaluation is not intended to enable you to make a decision about choosing these specific apps for actual use, as such a decision is a personal one that you will make based on your own unique preferences, needs, and evaluation. We strongly encourage you to download these apps for yourself and use our Model to conduct your own assessment.
This evaluation was completed December 6th and 7th, 2019, and is based on publicly available information found by our Panel at that time. In June 2020, APA's contacted the app developers and offered to them an opportunity to provide feedback on these assessments. Comments from developers who responded are included here. These comments do not necessarily reflect publicy available information at the time of the original assessment or presently.
Access & Background
Does the app identify ownership?
Forward Human, Inc.
Does the app identify funding sources and conflicts of interest?
Per the press kit website: "The firm was awarded 2018 Venture Firm of the Year by the National Venture Capital Association."
Does the app come from a trusted source?
Yes, the U.S. Department of Defense and Stanford University.
Does the app claim to be medical?
No, the app claims to be a "Health and Fitness" app.
Are there additional or hidden costs?
The app is free to download. A premium option is available for $59.99.
Does the app work offline?
Users can write journal entries offline, but are unable to access the "daily jour" and "journeys" features without internet access.
Does the app work with accessibility features of the iPhone/Android? Is it accessible for those with impaired vision or other disabilities?
The reviewer was unable to determine this functionality while using the app.
Privacy & Safety
Does the app declare data use and purpose?
Does the app describe use of PHI?
If the user creates an account, their PHI is encrypted, and the company can't see it.
Can you opt out of data collection or delete data?
Is data maintained in the device or on the web?
Data is maintained on the device.
Does the app explain security systems used?
What third parties does the app share data with?
From JOUR: We share analytic data with third-party providers but have built the app so that we cannot access user Entries in any way.
If appropriate, is the app equipped to respond to potential harms or safety concerns?
From JOUR: We have customer service representatives that can be contacted by shaking your phone while in the app or directly from a journaler's in-app settings. They can answer any questions or concerns a journaler may have, but whenever they receive a message illustrating a more serious or urgent mental health issue, our representatives direct journalers to reach out to a relevant organization or hotline, where specialized experts can help them.
Is the app content correct, well-written, and relevant?
App content is vague and may help with adjustment disorders, but some mental health advice does not appear to coincide with standard of care for patients with other DSM diagnoses.
What are the relevant sources or references supporting the app use cases?
The reviewer was unable to find relevant sources or references supporting app use cases.
Was there an attempt to validate app usability and feasibility?
None found on Google Scholar.
Is there evidence of effectiveness/efficacy?
What are the main engagement styles of the app?
Text, video, and notifications.
Do the app and its features align with your needs and priorities?
In the opinion of this reviewer, yes, as the app provides users with a jounaling and mood tracking system.
Is it customizable?
Journaling and mood-tracking features are customizable depending on user needs and preferences for journaling features.
Does the app clearly define its functional scope?
Do you own your data?
Can the app share data with EMR and other data tools (Apple HealthKit, FitBit)?
From JOUR: Time spent in Jour can be recorded as Mindful Minutes in a user's Apple HealthKit (when users activate the functionality).
Is the app for individual use or to be used in collaboration with a provider? If intended to be used with a provider, does the app have the ability to export or transfer data?
The app is intended for personal use.
From JOUR: While intended for individual use, we have received feedback from professional therapists that they recommend Jour for their patients as a way to check-in on their well-being between sessions and have a record of how they were feeling and what happened during the week that they can discuss in their next session.
Does the app lead to any positive behavior change or skill acquisition?
Does the app improve therapeutic alliance between patient and provider?
N/A, it is intended for individual use.