How to find an evidence-based mental wellbeing app
You want to support your employees with access to practical wellbeing tools, but…
With over 325,000 health apps on offer, finding and selecting the right one for your team (or even yourself) is a challenge.
User reviews can help somewhat, but top ratings in the App and Google Play stores (and on other platforms) don’t always correlate with high levels of compliance or quality. And these user ratings typically don’t address the thorny but important issues of trust, privacy, and data and systems security.
How do you decide on the right app?
It’s hard to find quality mental wellbeing apps with so much noise. Which is why it’s not particularly surprising that just 43 apps (out of 325,000+) account for over 83% of all health downloads.
Scrolling through endless apps is frustrating…so many people just settle on whatever’s closest to the top in search results. Or they go with a recommendation from a friend or colleague and hope for the best.
But when it comes to selecting a mental wellbeing app for your entire office, or a workforce dispersed across cities and countries, you can’t (and wouldn’t want to) just pick something that ‘looks okay’ at random. You know how much mental wellbeing matters to the health of your employees and your business. After all, you’re investing in employees’ mental health because you care.
What’s ORCHA and why does it matter?
A world leader in the evaluation of health apps, ORCHA helps governments and health and social care organisations choose and deliver health apps that will safely make the biggest impact in terms of improving outcomes by increasing take-up and self-management.
One of the most important services they offer is conducting reviews—one they currently provide to the UK’s NHS Digital, the organisation responsible for standardising, collecting and publishing data and information from across the health and social care system in England.
By carefully evaluating apps on functions and features like alerts and notifications, social support, wellbeing tracking, goal setting and gamification as well as crucial factors for obtaining users’ (and providers’) trust such as an app’s performance in data and security, evidence base and user experience, ORCHA provides a more complete picture of exactly what an app has to offer as well as how, why and to whom it’s useful.
ORCHA’s stringent reviews also serve as an important tool for narrowing down options—only 15% of reviewed apps meet their minimum standards.
So we’re really happy to announce Foundations’ very successful evaluation by ORCHA. Not only did we meet the minimum standards (based on 260 criteria), we got 100% in the category of clinical assurance and an overall score of 88%, which puts us among the highest-ranked applications in our category, ‘Stress & Anxiety.
How Foundations can help your team
Designed to help your team handle stress and build resilience, Foundations is a science-based mental wellbeing app. All of our activities, audios and guided programmes are developed and designed by our team of mental health experts and derived from clinically validated techniques from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, positive psychology and mindfulness.
In addition to our very positive ORCHA review, we’ve also conducted internal studies and randomised control trials (RCTS) to evaluate the effectiveness and usability of Foundations. Our internal studies obtained excellent results—after using Foundations for a few minutes a day, for a period of two weeks, nine out of ten users reduced their perceived stress score with an average reduction of 7 points on a 40-point scale.
In our RCT conducted in the UK (currently pending publication), we saw a positive impact on anxiety, stress, resilience, sleep, wellbeing and overall life satisfaction. We’re also currently collaborating with third-parties on further RCTs so that we can continue to improve and iterate Foundations by incorporating user feedback to build the best app possible.