With the proliferation of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, mobile technology provides new, accessible solutions to mental health care challenges. A significant challenge in Major Depression--one of the most common, disabling, and costly mental illnesses around the world--has been diagnosing and treating the disorder in patients in primary care.

Using validated symptom scales is a simple, highly evidence-based method that improves patient outcomes. However, paper-and-pencil symptom scales are infrequently used in primary care practice. Physicians may not be familiar with which scales to use, perceive them as time-consuming, and lack useful ways to track patient responses over time.

MoodFx (pronounced “Mood Effects”, available for free at www.moodfx.ca) addresses these barriers by puting measurement-based care in the hands of patients. With MoodFx, patients complete symptom scales on their own time, tracking and sharing their results with their family doctor to help guide their treatment.

While app stores may house hundreds of mental health and depression tools, most do not use validated measures or evidence-based approaches, nor have they been developed with input from health care providers. MoodFx was developed by psychiatrists, scientists, and people with lived experience at the Mood Disorders Centre and eHealth Strategy Office at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

MoodFx has received funding and support from Lundbeck Canada (via charitable donation to UBC), the Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments (CANMAT), Optum Canada, and UBC’s eHealth Strategy Office.