US researchers have created an mHealth app, called MoodTrek™, to help patients with depression keep a “mood-diary”.

The app, developed by a team of researchers from the University of Missouri (MU), Missouri University of Science and Technology and the Tiger Institute for Health Innovation, helps patients to track their moods, symptoms and sleep patterns and share the data with their psychiatrists.

“People tend to forget what their moods were like just a few days ago, but through this app, I can now see that data and can use it to provide the best care possible,” said MU Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Ganesh Gopalakrishna, MD.

The researchers say, by understanding how activity, sleep and mood interact, both the patient and the provider can take steps toward better health outcomes.

The app allows users to record their mood on a scale of one to five based on smiley face icons that matches their current feelings. By connecting the app to the Fitbit® fitness tracker, users can integrate their mood, exercise activity and amount of sleep all into one platform. The data can then be shared with their psychiatrists.

Healthcare providers who use a Cerner electronic health record (EHR) will be able to instantly upload the information from the app directly into a patient’s medical record. Patients can download and email reports or bring them when visiting their psychiatrists.

Additionally, the app has a journal entry feature that lets users capture notes that they can then share with their psychiatrists. The app also includes a helpline that can connect the user with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“I update my mood at least once a day. It forces you to take time for self-analysis and really reflect to find out why you’re feeling the way you do,” said MU student and MoodTrek™ user, Kody Ihnat. “It’s helping you help yourself and helping the doctor help you.”

MoodTrek™ is available for free on Android devices, with plans to bring the app to Apple devices in the future.

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