HRI Leads National Collaboration to Develop Standards for Mental Health and Substance Use Health Apps in Canada

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HRI is pleased to announce a new research project that will help shape the future of digital health in Canada.

Commissioned by Health Canada and the Standards Council of Canada, HRI is leading a national, collaborative team of key partners, including the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), and the Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA).

The project’s objective is to conduct and deliver a comprehensive gap analysis and recommendations for enhancing the quality, safety, transparency, and effectiveness of mental health and substance use health apps in Canada.

Directing the project are Dr. Yuri Quintana, Senior Scientist at HRI and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Sidney Kennedy, Executive Director of HRI and professor of psychiatry at the University of Toronto.

The research team recognizes the importance of incorporating diverse perspectives and insights from experts and knowledge holders across Canada. As such, a research reference group has been thoughtfully identified, and is comprised of people with lived and living experience, people from equity-deserving groups, healthcare providers, government officials and companies who develop products and services for digital health. Their input will shape the process of evaluating and standardizing mobile apps for mental and substance use health. Importantly, the project will emphasize the importance of culturally safe and appropriate mental health and substance use care, particularly for Indigenous communities and Black Canadians.

This research has significant implications for Canada’s digital healthcare landscape. We are privileged to collaborate with some of the brightest minds in mental health and substance use health on this critical initiative.

Please stay tuned for updates as this project continues to advance. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who need it most.