Alcohol and drug smartphone applications (apps) are flooding the market with 247 million people downloading health-related apps worldwide last year (Jahns, R., 2013). There are now so many of these apps that the Australian Drug Foundation’s ADIN website has been reviewing them.
What makes a good app?
Recent research has identified that young people are interested in apps that are:
– Supporting health-related behaviour change
– Accurate, legitimate and secure
– Easy to use
– Positively impact mood through generating positive alerts and reminders
The key characteristics of an app that young people were interested in was the ability to track behaviour and goals, as well as the ability to acquire advice and information ‘on the go’ (Dennison, L., et al, 2013). Apps like MyFitnessPal and Quit Now: My QuitBuddy are excellent examples of apps that apply these principles.
For more examples of what makes an app good (or bad), check ADIN’s app reviews.
If you know a good alcohol, other drug or mental health app you’d like reviewed, suggest it on the ADIN website.