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J Telemed Telecare. 2014 Dec;20(8):431-5. doi: 10.1177/1357633X14555616. Epub 2014 Oct 14.

Mobile app self-care versus in-office care for stress reduction: a cost minimization analysis.

Author information

1
National Center for Telehealth and Technology, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Tacoma, USA Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA ddluxton@uw.edu.
2
School of Pharmacy, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.
3
National Center for Telehealth and Technology, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Tacoma, USA.

Abstract

We calculated the cost of providing stress reduction care with a mobile phone app (Breathe2Relax) in comparison with normal in-person care, the standard method for managing stress in military and civilian populations. We conducted a cost-minimization analysis. The total cost to the military healthcare system of treating 1000 patients with the app was $106,397. Treating 1000 patients with in-office care cost $68,820. Treatment using the app became less expensive than in-office treatment at approximately 1600 users. From the perspective of the civilian healthcare system, treatment using the app became less expensive than in-office treatment at approximately 1500 users. An online tool was used to obtain data about the number of app downloads and usage sessions. A total of 47,000 users had accessed the app for 10-30 min sessions in the 2.5 years since the release of the app. Assuming that all 47,000 users were military beneficiaries, the savings to the military healthcare system would be $2.7 million; if the 47,000 users were civilian, the savings to the civilian healthcare system would be $2.9 million. Because of the large number of potential users, the total societal savings resulting from self-care using the app may be considerable.

PMID:
25316037
DOI:
10.1177/1357633X14555616
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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