Evolution of Telepsychaitry, Digital Phenotyping, Online Therapy and Smartphone Apps for Care: Practical Clinical Considerations

Presenting Author(s): Dr. John Torous, MD, MBI

Date and time: 11 Apr 2021 from 09:00 to 10:00

Location: Virtual  Floor Map

Learning Objectives:

1. Define digital phenotyping and list three risks and benefits of this method of data collection;

2. List the four stages of the APA app evaluation framework in order of use; and

3. Be able to guide a patient though informed decision making in using a mental health related smartphone app.


As use of telepsychiatry in mental health via video/phone visits soars, it is important to also consider how asynchronous telepsychiatry tools like a smartphone apps can also advance care. This talk will review the current evidence for telepsychiatry as well as online therapies. Focusing on the newest advances, smartphone digital phenotyping and of real time data capture via smartphones will be covered next. Examples and methods for blending new technologies in care will be reviewed. Looking at the evolving smartphone mental health ecosystem, the talk will also cover apps claiming to offer various treatments and review the APA app evaluation framework as a tool to help evaluate claims and make more informed choices.

Literature References:

1. Henson P, D’Mello R, Vaidyam A, Keshavan M, Torous J. Anomaly detection to predict relapse risk in schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry. 2021 Jan 11;11(1):1-6.

2. Torous J, Wykes T. Opportunities from the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic for transforming psychiatric care with telehealth. JAMA psychiatry. 2020 Dec 1;77(12):1205-6.

3. Schueller SM, Torous J. Scaling evidence-based treatments through digital mental health. American Psychologist. 2020 Nov;75(8):1093.

4. Vaidyam AN, Linggonegoro D, Torous J. Changes to the Psychiatric Chatbot Landscape: A Systematic Review of Conversational Agents in Serious Mental Illness: Changements du paysage psychiatrique des chatbots: une revue systématique des agents conversationnels dans la maladie mentale sérieuse. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. 2020 Oct 16:0706743720966429.

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