ideas, innovations and apps for social work in the age of smartphones and social media 

The three problems of mobile apps for social work


Photo by LearningLark on Flickr and used with Creative Commons license.

Photo by LearningLark on Flickr and used with Creative Commons license.

Jessie Gruman, founder and president of the Washington, DC based Center for Advancing Health, wrote a post about „What patients want from mobile apps“ where she shares her thoughts about why mobile health does not take off. She discusses three observations that may cause the slow progress in apps for health:

  1. The use of the apps costs too much time compared to the benefit they bring
  2. The apps are nagging
  3. The apps don’t link to the clinicians

She quotes Amy Tenderich, founder of Diabetes Mine, who says about the use of tools in health care: “We will use tools that answer our questions and solve our problems. We will avoid tools that help us do what you think we should do and we won’t use tools that add to the work of caring for ourselves.”

Is this the same with apps that are aimed at the clients of our profession. What is your and your clients experience with mobile apps in social care and social work? Are they time consuming? Do they nag? Do they link to the running systems? Are these the relevant criteria? Share your thoughts in the comments?


3 comments on “The three problems of mobile apps for social work

  1. Debbi Bartelt
    April 7, 2013

    Personally, I have not found them to be time consuming to use , but so far I only use a couple of them consistently. One I use directly for focused breathing which my clients have really liked and even asked to use ( 11-14 years old). It has music and a visual breathing timer.

    The other app I use is for looking up medication description, dosage, and usage . I like it a lot since I can readily look up information and give it to parents very quickly.

    I would never use any tool that did not serve my purposes whether it is a book with handouts or sheets for clients to use. In fact, I have seldom used this type of materials with children.

    • Lutz Siemer
      April 7, 2013

      Hi Debbi,

      Thank you for your thoughts. Can you share the name of the apps you use?

      Regards, Lutz

  2. Pingback: What Developers Of Social Work Apps Can Learn From The Health Sector | MOBILE SOCIAL WORK

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This entry was posted on April 7, 2013 by in Apps and tagged , , , , , , , .
Lutz Siemer

Lutz Siemer

Education, Research & Development in Social Work & IT After working as an alternative practitioner and psychotherapist in private practice for nearly ten years I stepped over to higher education in 2005. At Saxion University of Applied Sciences I lecture and do research and development in the area of Social Work, Psychology and IT. Currently I'm focussing on merging mobile technology and social work.

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