There has been a dramatic increase in demand for mental health apps since 2014, new research shows.
Research from GK Strategy and digital firm onefourzero shows that since 2014, consumer demand for mental health apps has increase by 566%. The research analysed online search data and social media posts over a four-year period. It found that alongside an increase in demand for mental health apps, consumers are wanting more GP and prescription services.
The biggest factor driving demand for online GP services is convenience, and this is mentioned in almost a quarter (24%) of online conversations surrounding the topic. A wider recognition of mental health, alongside technology advances is driving demands for apps in the digital health field.
The findings indicate that people are more willing to look at digital solutions to receive care and that there is an increased need for more mental health services.
Robin Grainger, Group CEO at GK Strategy, said: “New health apps are unlocking the power of smartphone technology to deliver services directly to people and patients, reducing the need for expensive equipment or time spent in hospitals.
“We have seen regulators and the wider medical community respond cautiously, and often negatively, to this innovation. As these products mature and become a mainstay in people’s lives, the major brands will increasingly need to tackle the arguments posed against them. Regulators also need to think carefully about whose side they are on – are they defending the status quo or are they supporting innovation that makes access to health care easier for people.”
Fleur Hicks, chief executive at onefourzero, commented on the findings, saying: “We live in a digital world, and health is now no exception. Our analysis highlights that patients have so far bought into technology as a method for delivering healthcare. In a sector as sensitive as health, building and sustaining this trust amongst users is vital. For companies that successfully do so, the market evidently exists.”