During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, digital technologies have become a major route for accessing remote care. Therefore, the need to ensure that these tools are safe and effective has never been greater. We raise five calls to action to ensure the safety, availability, and long-term sustainability of these technologies: (1) due diligence: remove harmful health apps from app stores; (2) data insights: use relevant health data insights from high-quality digital tools to inform the greater response to COVID-19; (3) freely available resources: make high-quality digital health tools available without charge, where possible, and for as long as possible, especially to those who are most vulnerable; (4) digital transitioning: transform conventional offline mental health services to make them digitally available; and (5) population self-management: encourage governments and insurers to work with developers to look at how digital health management could be subsidized or funded. We believe this should be carried out at the population level, rather than at a prescription level.
Bibliographical note©Becky Inkster, Ross O’Brien, Emma Selby, Smriti Joshi, Vinod Subramanian, Madhura Kadaba, Knut Schroeder, Suzi Godson, Kerstyn Comley, Sebastian J Vollmer, Bilal A Mateen. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health (http://mental.jmir.org), 06.07.2020.