Over the past few years, mental health has become a topic of serious concern globally. And the pandemic has undoubtedly added to the stress we live under. Though people are now more vocal about mental health, which is a positive thing, the consequences of mental illness are still often underestimated.
A report by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America shows that 40 million adults in the US suffer from anxiety disorders. And nearly 75% of people with mental disorders go untreated in developing countries.
All this considered, it’s no surprise that the demand for mental health apps is growing every year. Between 2014 and 2018, the demand for mental health apps in the UK increased 566%. According to a recent study by Acumen Research and Consulting, the global mental health app market is expected to reach $3.7 billion by 2027.
Mental health apps have become a real lifesaver, both for patients and healthcare professionals. Apps like Calm and Headspace help users to cultivate positive thinking and relax and relieve stress. A few other mental health apps also add the element of gamification to attract users and divert them from self-destructive thoughts.
As per the latest stats, there are up to 20,000 apps for mental health in the market, and many of the most popular apps have millions of users. Moreover, as per Statista, the leading mental wellness apps were installed 215 thousand times in the United States from November 3 to November 5, 2020.
The stats above prove that the demand for mental health apps is continuously rising because of the exceptional benefits and functionalities they offer.
In this article, we are listing the different mental health app ideas you can take inspiration from for your startup.
However, before we get to the interesting app ideas, let’s look into the major reasons for developing a mental health app.
Reasons to build a mental health app
Mental healthcare apps provide benefits to both patients and healthcare professionals. While patients get timely care even in remote areas, doctors and therapists can reach more patients in less time. Moreover, mobile apps make it easier to obtain data, speed up decision making and allow doctors to reach more patients in less time.
On that note, we have listed a few benefits of developing a mental health app.
1. Immediate access to mental healthcare: Gone are the days when one had to make physical visits to clinics or offices to meet a therapist or medical counselor. Mental healthcare apps have replaced physical visits with digital visits. Patients can now easily search for therapists and schedule video or audio calls at their convenience. Therapists can also accept or reschedule the appointments as per their schedule.
2. Reduce stress for employees: Mental health apps that target stress, anxiety, or depression are essential for working professionals. As per a report by Lyra Health, one-quarter of employees in the US say their mental health has deteriorated during Covid-19, and 40% are dealing with mental conditions like stress or anxiety.
To help reduce stress for employees, many companies are turning to mental health apps and contributing to the overall mental health well-being of their employees.
3. Help in treatment: Mental health apps are useful for data recording and monitoring. Sometimes even doctors and psychotherapists advise the patients to use such applications. Later, the medical personnel can analyze the data and take correct treatment measures.
4. Timely care at even remote locations: By scheduling video calls with a therapist, the majority of people at faraway locations get timely care without having to travel to clinics or hospitals. Moreover, users can get important tips and precautions related to mental health through push notifications.
5. Effective promotional tool: Mental health apps can be used as an effective promotional tool. By integrating the push-notification system, you can inform the patients about their appointments, reports, as well as share special offers, news, and promotions. This way, you can convert a one-time user into a loyal user.
6. Immediate feedback from users: With the help of a mental health app, a patient can provide feedback digitally according to the rendered service. Once the feedback is received, healthcare providers can get started with what can be done to improve services and create a better user experience.
Types of mental health apps
The mental health app industry is quite diverse. There is a gamut of apps that target different people with various issues and disorders. In this section, we’ll cover the most widespread types of mental health apps. So, let’s begin!
1. Anxiety, stress, and mood control apps: Anxiety, depression, and mood swings are some of the most common health issues of an individual. A report published by Single Care states 62 percent of people in the US suffer from anxiety. Another report by WHO says approximately 280 million people in the world have depression.
Mental health apps can help patients cope with such mental issues. These types of apps include self-assessment features like questionnaires and journaling. This helps users understand their mental state and take immediate measures. These apps also come with video and audio call features to connect patients and therapists. These apps sometimes also feature emergency lines for consultancy and ambulances.
For instance, Dare is a popular mental health app that helps deal with panic attacks and offers recovery challenges.
2. Mental disorder apps: These types of apps can help people deal with mental disorders like bipolar, OCD, schizophrenia, and others. While a few apps are built on the principle of exchanging messages or calls with doctors, others offer self-guided mood training programs and elements of gamification.
These apps generally offer 24*7 specialized support by healthcare professionals, thereby bringing maximum benefit to users. Such apps also provide a platform for people to connect and share feelings with those going through the same experience.
3. Self-improvement apps: Self-improvement apps are created for users who want to monitor their mood swings, cultivate positive thinking, and break bad habits. Meditation is often the heart of such apps. For example, Calm uses meditation techniques as its core features since many people find them effective for eliminating negative thoughts and reducing stress.
A few apps also offer a list of psychologists and counselors for those who want to take professional help for self-improvement.
Moving forward, we will see a few trending mental health app ideas for your startup.
Trending mental health app ideas for startups
Now that we have seen the types of mental health apps, it’s time to take a look at a few trending app ideas addressing mental health issues.
1. App for women’s well-being: If you’re concerned about women’s health and well-being, then this mental health startup idea is just perfect for your startup. You can develop an app to track mood swings and menstrual cycles of women. The app can also provide lists of therapists, doctors, and so on. You can also include text and video chat, where women can get consultations about any mental health issue. You can also offer guided meditation to help them relax and reduce mental stress.
2. Sleep app: These apps are perfect for people who have deep trouble having a good night’s sleep. Sleep apps help ease your stress and anxiety so that you can finally rest and wake up feeling refreshed. Users can select some relaxing music and audio to get a peaceful sleep.
For instance, Headspace offers guided meditation programs to help you drift off into a deep sleep.
3. Virtual therapy app: With the online therapy app, treatment is accessible to everyone. People suffering from anxiety, stress, or other mental health disorders can easily discuss their issues with a therapist from the comfort of their homes.
Such business ideas for mental health can also eliminate the patients’ hesitation to talk in person about their health matters. Patients can communicate with health experts using messaging or video call features. With the help of such apps, health professionals can also connect with other health experts and reach more customers.
For instance, Talk Space is a popular virtual therapy app that connects you to a wide network of mental health professionals. Instead of going to an office and waiting around to be seen, Talk Space allows you to send texts, audio messages, or video calls at your convenience.
4. Emotional wellness apps: These apps can help users weather the ups and downs of feelings and thoughts and stress less. These apps can offer tools to users to manage anxiety and identify triggers so they won’t trip them up in the future. Emotional wellness apps can offer relaxing mindfulness exercises and music to keep users grounded, centered, and in touch with their emotional well-being.
5. Meditation and mindfulness apps: Meditation and mindfulness apps have gained huge popularity, especially after the outbreak of the pandemic. Millions of people had to stay at home and look for new ways to overcome stress and anxiety. During this time, meditation apps turned out to be the perfect solution. These apps help people meditate to reduce stress, get grounded, remove negativity, and understand their feelings better. So, taking into account the current pandemic situation, this is the perfect app idea for mental health tech startups.
6. Self-improvement apps: The self-improvement apps market is really diverse. There are apps for increasing patience, building self-confidence, overcoming fears, relieving mental stress, and more. Such apps can include mental health app features like live coaching sessions with mentors and therapists, pre-recorded courses with step-by-step video guides, and goal settings.
For instance, Happify offers science-based activities, guided meditations, and games that help reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts, and build greater resilience.
7. Mood and symptoms tracking app: Such types of apps can help track the mood and symptoms of users. You can offer users to take assessment tests on a regular basis to understand their mood and current mental status. You can also include features like guided meditation so that users can better understand their initial feeling.
You can also allow people to jot down their thoughts or keep a detailed private journal. They can also log their activities from day to day and then track how these activities affect their mood over time. You can allow people to see their mood swings on a calendar or graph for easy tracking.
So, these were a few unique mental health startup ideas that you can choose for your next project. Now moving forward, let’s jump into how you can build a mental health app.
How to build a mental health app?
When planning to create a mental health mobile app, make sure to keep the interface user-friendly and don’t add unnecessary data and functionality. Below are the steps on how to start a mental health business.
1. Choose the target audience and platform: The first step is to choose your target audience and mental health app platforms. You need to decide whether your app is for children, youth, senior citizens, and so on. Or you can target the general population. This will certainly help to know more about your potential users to design relevant experiences. Once you decide the target audience, choose the platform for your application. You can launch your app on Android, iOS, or even choose a cross-platform option.
2. Conduct competitor and market research: When creating an app for mental health, it’s vital to study your competitors. Usually, it’s recommended to do in-depth research on the apps that are successful in your niche. However, you must also check out apps that failed, as they might offer valuable lessons. Competitor analysis will help define best and worst practices in your niche.
3. Hire a reliable app development company: Hire a reliable app development company with expertise in multiple domains. Choosing an app development company will ensure that the quality of service is not compromised.
A mobile app development company has a team of UI/UX designers, expert mental health app developers, and market specialists who offer competent suggestions and always take your vision into account. The company also provides access to the newest technologies and offers the latest industry expertise.
4. Build an MVP: Minimum Viable Product or MVP is the first version of a product with minimal features. It helps determine whether the product has the potential to succeed. Moreover, MVP software development allows users to share their experience with your app, telling what functionality they would like you to add to your product. For a successful MVP development, hire a product development agency that can help bring your product to life.
5. Testing: Testing can’t be overlooked, especially when we are talking about apps for issues as sensitive as mental health. Test everything from user experience, user interface, to content. Proper testing will help identify bugs, shorten the development time and cost, and greatly improve your reputation as a service provider.
6. Release and keep updating: Once your application has been thoroughly tested, it’s ready to welcome users. Now it’s time to track its performance with the in-app analytics tools you implemented during development, address user concerns and requests, and introduce updates to keep users engaged.
Real-world examples of top Mental Health Apps
Let’s take a look at a few mental health apps that have impressed users with their innovative features and functionalities.
1. Calm: The app aims to reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and promote mindfulness. Calm provides meditation that focuses on relaxation and sleep. The app can be used by both beginners and those who already use meditation. The meditation sessions range from 3 minutes to over an hour.
2. Headspace: Headspace uses mindfulness and meditation to help people build relationships, reduce stress, and promote restful sleep. Headspace offers meditation for creativity, workplace, body positivity, and focus, among others.
3. MindDoc: MindDoc is a mood journal that asks users questions three times per day to track their emotional health. The app provides in-depth statistics on mood and symptom changes over time. MindDoc also offers meditation sessions, courses, and other resources that aim to improve a person’s emotional health.
4. Anxiety Relief Hypnosis: Anxiety Relief Hypnosis is an app that may help improve relaxation and reduce anxiety. The app allows people to loop relaxing background noises and sessions while they are sleeping.
5. Mindshift CBT: The MindShift CBT app was created to provide anxiety relief using CBT tools to adjust thinking and behaviors. The app claims to help tackle worry, panic, perfectionism, social anxiety, and phobias.
Q1. How much does it cost to build a mental health app?
Ans. The cost of building a mental health app depends on several factors such as choice of mental health platforms, location of app developers, mental health app features, etc. However, the average cost can be somewhere between $40,000 to $80,000.
Q2. How long does it take to build a mental healthcare app?
Ans. On average, the development of mental health apps can take anywhere between three months to one year, depending on the structure of your project and the complexity of the app.
Q3. How do you build a mental health app?
For starting a mental health business, you need to hire an experienced mobile app development company. Share your mental health business ideas with them. They can provide you with the right consultation in terms of the required technologies, features, and functionality for your app.
How can Appinventiv help in your app development journey?
As a reliable healthcare application development company, we have developed many apps for our users. We have a highly skilled team of mental health app developers who have mastered the technologies needed to develop innovative mental healthcare apps.
So, in case you are starting a mental health business and have an amazing app idea in your mind, feel free to contact us. Our experts will offer the best healthcare mobile app development services and bring your idea to life.