Intellicare is a suite of mobile phone applications (apps) to help users’ reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Each app focuses on a different mental health technique and there is a Hub app to help coordinate use of different apps.
The Intellicare suite of apps includes thirteen skill-based apps that focus on mental health techniques and a hub app to manage the apps that users have downloaded. Apps include are activity tracking, activity planning, stress management, seeking social support, physical activity, and relaxation. The Hub app coordinates messages and notifications from the individual Intellicare apps and suggests apps for users to download from the Intellicare suite. The Intellicare suite is available on the Google Play Store.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Young Adults (18-30)
Summary: Researchers examined download and usage data from the IntelliCare suite on Google Play. Over the course of about a year, 5210 people downloaded at least one IntelliCare app. Users downloaded an average of 1.94 apps and 31.8% of users downloaded more than one app. The Hub app was downloaded by 18.5% of users. Users who downloaded the Hub app downloaded more apps, downloaded apps over a longer period of time, and used apps for longer than users who did not download the Hub app. Users who downloaded more than one app made their last app purchase 3.84 days after their first app purchase. Apps in the Intellicare suite were most often opened once by users, but the average number of times each app was opened ranged from 3.10 to 16.98; indicating that some users used the apps several times, despite low rates of usage by most users. Between 10 and 20% of users were still using individual apps 28 days after downloading the apps. Daily Feats, an app for planning and tracking activities, had the highest usage indicators – with mean number of launches (16.98), percentage of active users (35.70%), and highest rate of sustained use for 28 days (23.30%).
Take Away: The IntelliCare suite achieved high numbers of downloads and high rates of app usage. The coordinating Hub app seemed to improve engagement with the suite.
Summary: Researchers used ads and health care organizations to recruit 105 people with symptoms of depression or anxiety. Participants were encouraged to focus on one or two IntelliCare apps of their choosing per week for eight weeks, but were not restricted in how many apps they used or downloaded. Participants also received coaching calls at baseline and four-weeks and weekly texts to support app use by way of specific support for participants to focus on one app a week and recommendations if participants could not choose an app on their own. Participants completed assessments of depression and anxiety symptoms at baseline and 4- and 8-weeks post-baseline and app usage was tracked. Participants’ anxiety and depression symptoms significantly improved by the end of the study. About 70% of participants met criteria for full remission or recovery from depression and 80% met criteria for remission or recovery from depression. Participants initiated an average of 191.4 sessions in IntelliCare apps that lasted an average of 1.4 minutes. Of participants who initiated treatment (n=99), 90.1% were still using apps at 8-week follow up. About 23% continued to use the apps more than two months after the end of the study.
Take Away: The IntelliCare suite supported by remote coaching may be an effective and engaging method of treating depression and anxiety symptoms.