Evaluating Mental Health Apps - AHRQ Develops New Framework


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed and pilot tested a framework to help providers, caregivers, patients, advocacy organizations, payers, healthcare systems, and others assess and select mental health mobile apps.

FASTER, the Framework to Assist Stakeholders in Technology Evaluation for Recovery to Mental Health and Wellness, is made up of three sections:

  1. Assesses the risk and safety of the app
  2. Focuses on technical functionality of the app
  3. Examines the mental health features of the app

Mental health mobile apps can act as a tool for expanding access to mental health services and enhancing the integration of behavioral health and primary care. This framework can help people make more informed decisions with their mobile mental health selections.

The authors note in their conclusions: “Future application, testing, and refinements may be required to determine the framework’s suitability and reliability across multiple mental health conditions, as well as to account for the rapidly expanding applications of AI, gamification, and other new technology approaches.”

For more information see: