Thursday, March 31, 2011

Need a referral?

I just downloaded Psych Help a free iPhone app designed to help you find a therapist near you. I think it can use a few touch ups, but I'm still impressed it could find several psychologists near me. I hope the next version will include more fields including neuropsychology, and rehabilitation psychology. Psychology boards could certainly use this to help clients find a psychologist suited for them.  Micheael Quach also just released DSM-IV Codes. It's free and the disorders can be ordered alphabetically or by codes, making it easy to find the code you need.

Monday, March 28, 2011

If you like this blog, please share it with others...

Like the way this blog is going? would you like to see it address other topics or issues. Leave your comments below any post. You can remain anonymous.

This blog is there for you, the psychologist, and your clients. It is a personal initiative of mine meant to help you get up to date information about new and innovative applications for your devices, but also to inform developers about the technological needs of our profession. I believe we could all benefit from this project. Don't you?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Happy Apps for Iphone - Real effects or placebo?

A new article on CNNTech just boasted the talents of Monica Singh who is the creator of The Happy Apps "a set of mood-enhancement tools that include light and color therapy". While I praise developers who are motivated to create applications aimed at improving the quality of life of others, I often wonder about the scientific evidence that goes into the development of these mobile applications. Is The Happy Apps therapeutic? and if it is, is it due to a placebo effect or the actual properties of the application? These are questions all developers of mental health applications should strive to answer. Her website attempts to do this by citing popular references such as about.com, and the New York times regarding the general benefits of light and color therapy. However,  can the Iphone's hardware generate the luminance necessary to produce therapeutic effects? I will try to find out.  Here is an article about SAD and light therapy  that used, "10,000 lux of white cool fluorescent light". In theory these self help apps are safer than self medicating (i.e. with drugs, alcohol, and other meds) and a lot less costly.  However, could this change as the app world starts to generate thousands of self help tools that promise a better life?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

iCBT Iphone app review coming!

Ever wish you could motivate your clients to work on their difficulties outside the office? I have just downloaded a copy of iCBT, an app based on Dr. David Burns's work, Feeling good handbook, and will be providing a review soon. According to the developer of this application, Bonnie Rind the idea is to 1) express an upsetting event, and the negative thoughts and emotions around that event.  2) Consider if you are being fair and reasonable to yourself and others with these thoughts. Using the common cognitive distortions, reconsider how you talk to yourself and how you look at the event.  3) Rephrase your thoughts avoiding any distortions.  4) Consider your emotions when you are more fair and respectful to yourself.  Have others tried this application? 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

IPhone apps update

The Iphone app list has been updated.The BDI has been removed and new apps added. If you have tried or decide to try these apps please send us feedback. As you already know, the content of these apps may on the one hand be misleading, fraudulent, or unethical while on the other be gems useful for both patients and clinicians.   Your feedback is appreciated!

STAT NIH Stroke scale app for Iphone - Free but buggy.

I just tested a free Iphone application called the STAT NIH stroke scale. The app is relatively easy to use and the interface is well designed. It is an almost exact reproduction of the pamphlet provided by the NIH. The test itself was designed to assess the level of impairment caused by a stroke and measures level of consciousness, vision, language, speech, movement and sensation. In my opinion, this is a great first version, however, a minor bug make this application unusable in the field. A small problem that could easily be fixed is in question 9 "best language". The patient in this question is required to describe a scene, but when we click on the image it opens in the wrong orientation. The app  provides a summary of the scores obtained and the clinician is required to provide an interpretation, something an app could easily be designed to do. While I'm sure future versions will correct this little bug, I am impressed by the amount of free apps generated by the group. - The app is now fixed.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blackberry apps : A torrent coming?

I just began taking a look at Blackberry apps for psychologists.Though Apple still has the upper hand in terms of available apps, Blackberry developers appear to be very busy. Here is a link to their app store [link]. If you use Blackberry, is there an app you can't live without? Considering there may be up to 93,000 practicing psychologists, and up to 170,000 positions held by psychologists in the US [1] alone, 15,000 practicing psychologists in Canada: [2], and a lot more psychologists worldwide. This represents a huge marketplace for Blackberry. The question now is, will they take the lead in fulfilling the technological needs of our professions or will they let Apple's iOS and Google's Android take it all?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Glasgow Coma Scale - a useful tool we don't really want to use?

I was reviewing the Iphone Glasgow Coma Scale app last night at a Java U coffee shop in Montreal, Canada. There was a hockey game playing on television. The Montreal Canadians who won 4-1 against the Boston Bruins, lost something greater than a game, they may have lost a great player. Max Pacioretty lost consciousness at the scene and was rushed to the hospital. The incident was played down in the media, but what do you think was the severity of his injury? You can watch the video [here].   More information can be found [here]. Photograph by: John Kenney, The Gazette.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Beck Depression Inventory is now online

UPDATE: Following the comment below I looked on both the Canadian and US store for the BDI. It has been removed probably due to copyright issues. Original Post: It appears that popular questionnaires are getting online. I just checked if I was depressed using the BDI iphone app by Francesco Petrungaro. I'm glad to say that I'm not depressed (probably because the app is very user friendly and actually scores everything for you). The app is an exact replica of the BDI,  I am not sure if this was published in conjunction with Pearson, but we definitely need more of these out there. See outside link [here]. Another great tool called Doctot Depression includes several questionaires including: The Hamilton depression scale (HDRS) as well as other tools such as the MSRS, HAMD-7, CGI, & HAM-A.
Sylvain Roy, Ph.D.

Monday, March 7, 2011

EPPP iphone app by StudyPsych

I recently began to test the EPPP study cards for IPhone. Version 1.3 is priced at $29.99 and the typos have been cleaned up. Overall, I find the cards informative and easy to use. Just select the area you want to review and go through the questions. The software can keep track of your errors thus allowing you to see just what area you need to focus on. It's a great little tool and wonderful when you are on the road or at the airport. You may also purchase individual modules for a fraction of the price.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

If only I could get that file from my home computer...

Did you ever get to work and realize you forgot to email yourself a report? Well there's an app just for you! It's called Teamviewer and it's free! 1) install teamviewer on your home computer (mac or pc) by going to www.teamviewer.com, download and install the application, and set up permanent access by following the instructions. Take note of your home computer's ID.  2)  install the app on your IPhone and enter under "create a session" your home ID and Password and click connect. Watch the video demo!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not for assessment, but...

I tested a few apps from my list below that are not related to assessment or scoring per se, but that can be useful. Dragon Dictate: This app is useful for email, it's free and relatively accurate. Simply dictate and email yourself the text. Unfortunately, there is no toolbar integrated with text editors. It also requires requires an internet connection (likely for streaming ads, but also to analyze the speech).  Overall, I only see this app getting better. It also works better when "Detect end-of-Speech" is turned off. Google Maps: Ever just wanted step by step directions to get somewhere? This pre-installed app requires an internet connection to find your destination, but once you are set to go you can access the information offline. This is awesome when you need to find your way around a city using public transportation (gives you bus and subway times in most major cities). Magellan GPS: This is a great app that works without wifi or 3g at least on my IPhone 3g (connects to satellites). This thing is really cool. Costs range from 34.99 to 59.99 depending on the maps you get. It gets you to your appointments really well. Talkatone: Great app if you want to save on phone calls. This service goes through Google and it offers free call to North America. You must get your free Google Voice number (US only).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Coming soon: a review of the PAR assessment toolkit 2.0!


PAR has agreed to let me try out several modules of the new PAR Assessment Toolkit 2.0 released a couple weeks ago. Since their last update, PAR made it possible to purchase specific modules (i.e. Brief) that will make it easy to convert raw scores into t-scores. The best part is, the tools are relatively inexpensive (approx. $4.99 ea.). Has anyone tried their new app? what are your thoughts? Check out the official PAR toolkit promo for IPhone and Android [click here]

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Android apps for psychologists?


After posting iphone apps for psychologists, I was asked by several psychologists if the same apps can be found on android phones. Here is a search link for psychology for the Android database [link]. Please share your cool app below...