Clinicians' concerns about mobile ecological momentary assessment tools designed for emerging psychiatric problems: Prospective acceptability assessment of the memind app

Christophe Lemey, Mark Erik Larsen, Jordan Devylder, Philippe Courtet, Romain Billot, Philippe Lenca, Michel Walter, Enrique Baca-García, Sofian Berrouiguet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Many mental disorders are preceded by a prodromal phase consisting of various attenuated and unspecific symptoms and functional impairment. Electronic health records are generally used to capture these symptoms during medical consultation. Internet and mobile technologies provide the opportunity to monitor symptoms emerging in patients' environments using ecological momentary assessment techniques to support preventive therapeutic decision making. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the acceptability of a Web-based app designed to collect medical data during appointments and provide ecological momentary assessment features. Methods: We recruited clinicians at 4 community psychiatry departments in France to participate. They used the app to assess patients and to collect data after viewing a video of a young patient's emerging psychiatric consultation. We then asked them to answer a short anonymous self-administered questionnaire that evaluated their experience, the acceptability of the app, and their habit of using new technologies. Results: Of 24 practitioners invited, 21 (88%) agreed to participate. Most of them were between 25 and 45 years old, and greater age was not associated with poorer acceptability. Most of the practitioners regularly used new technologies, and 95% (20/21) connected daily to the internet, with 70% (15/21) connecting 3 times a day or more. However, only 57% (12/21) reported feeling comfortable with computers. Of the clinicians, 86% (18/21) would recommend the tool to their colleagues and 67% (14/21) stated that they would be interested in daily use of the app. Most of the clinicians (16/21, 76%) found the interface easy to use and useful. However, several clinicians noted the lack of readability (8/21, 38%) and the need to improve ergonometric features (4/21, 19%), in particular to facilitate browsing through various subsections. Some participants (5/21, 24%) were concerned about the storage of medical data and most of them (11/21, 52%) seemed to be uncomfortable with this. Conclusions: We describe the first step of the development of a Web app combining an electronic health record and ecological momentary assessment features. This online tool offers the possibility to assess patients and to integrate medical data easily into face-to-face conditions. The acceptability of this app supports the feasibility of its broader implementation. This app could help to standardize assessment and to build up a strong database. Used in conjunction with robust data mining analytic techniques, such a database would allow exploration of risk factors, patterns of symptom evolution, and identification of distinct risk subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10111
JournalJournal of medical Internet research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2019


  • Acceptability
  • Decision support systems, clinical
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Feasibility studies
  • Internet
  • Mental health
  • Mobile applications
  • Outpatients
  • Prodromal symptoms
  • Young adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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