Top 5 Mental Health Apps To Get You Through The Holiday Season
Lumosity is a multi-platform and web-based cognitive training app. Upon signing up with a social media account or email address, users are invited to complete a “Fit Brains” assessment that evaluates the user’s response speed, attention, and memory. After completing the assessment, Lumosity offers one free “training game” per day, with the option to purchase unlimited gameplay via monthly subscription. With a premium subscription, users can also track their progress in each category over time, both in comparison to past scores as well as to others in their age group.Read the Professional Review for Lumosity: A Professional Review
Available for: Requires iOS 11.2 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Android compatibility varies with device. Available on the Web
Developer: Lumos Labs, Inc.
Type of Treatment: Cognitive Training
Targeted Conditions: Schizophrenia, Mood Disorders, Stress & Anxiety
Target Audience: Not Specified
Designed to be used in conjunction with a professional? No
Languages Available: English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish
Cost: Free with in-app purchases
Get it on: Apple App Store, Google Play, Web
Lumosity has been evaluated in a feasibility study that tested the use of Lumosity as a treatment for psychosis. Preliminary evidence finds that an internet based intervention is feasible. (Hooker, C. I., Carol, E. E., Eisenstein, T. J., Yin, H., Lincoln, S. H., Tully, L. M., … & Seidman, L. J. 2014. https://content.iospress.com/articles/neurorehabilitation/nre162065)
Another study of the acceptability amongst college students indicate that college students prefer high-tech external support. (Brown, Jessica et al. 2017. https://content.iospress.com/articles/neurorehabilitation/nre162065)
In another study of the effectiveness of lumosity, 4715 participants were randomized to a control condition of completing crossword puzzles and a treatment group of an online cognitive training program. Participants in both groups completed one 15 minute session at least 5 days a week for 10 weeks. Treatment participants showed sigifnicant improvements on the primary outcome measure (measured by the Grand Index, a cognitive performance measure). (Hardy, J. L., Nelson, R. A., Thomason, M. E., Sternberg, D. A., Katovich, K., Farzin, F., & Scanlon, M. 2015. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0134467)
We review apps against rating criteria developed by experts in the field. Some of those criteria are:
We look at the research supporting the technology and the credibility of the development process.
We review privacy policies to see if key pieces of information about what happens with entered data are addressed.
We explore how fun, functional, easy-to-use, engaging, and interesting the technology is.
A professional in a relevant field downloads and uses the technology and writes a narrative review, highlighting pros & cons and some recommendations for use.