THE VA MOBILE MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TEAM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT AND DISSEMINATION OF EVIDENCE-INFORMED MOBILE APPS TO IMPROVE THE MENTAL HEALTH OF VETERANS AND THEIR LOVED ONES ACROSS THE U.S.   

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  • The VA Mobile Mental Health services team manages three of the most widely used mental health apps on the app store : PTSD Coach, CBT-I Coach, and PTSD Family Coach. 

THE PROJECT

Project Vet Data looks to assist the VA Mobile Health Services Team in characterizing and visualizing app use data. 

The VA has very good research enabled versions of each of its primary apps. All app use data is transmitted to a secure, HIPAA-compliant server and stored in JSON format.

The lab is continuing to collect app use data in ongoing studies, and thus they are looking for assistance in analyzing these data so that they may be integrated with other available data sources, such as quantitative and qualitative self-report data provided at baseline and follow-up in each of our trials.  The app use of characteristics and visualization techniques would directly lead to new research reports and manuscripts. Note: students involved in this project could be included as co-authors on these reports. 

So far, the team has collected app use data from over 140 research participants using the PTSD Family Coach app and 25 using the PTSD Coach app, and more data will be forthcoming over the next quarter.

Some anticipated milestones for the project are:
•    Developing methods for querying api necessary to get JSON datastream associated with use of each app
•    Calculating relevant markers of app use (e.g., number of sessions, total time spent engaged with app, engagement with specific app views)
•    Visualization method 1 (e.g., patterns of use associated with first app session)
•    Visualization method 2 (at discretion of CS+MH team)

TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • Ability to query api
  • Manipulate JSON data
  • Familiarity with data visualization techniques