Breathe2Relax ® Mobile App

 
Breathe2Relax
Breathe2Relax
Breathe2Relax

Overview
 

Device: ,
 
Developer: The National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2)
 
Description: This app is a stress management tool, which will help you learn how to perform and use diaphragmatic breathing techniques for stress control. It also provides you with education about the biology of stress, the effects of stress on the body, how to do diaphragmatic breathing, and the biology of breathing. Using this app can be helpful to your meditation practice as well. Even though this app was developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) and T2, it is not restricted to use by military or veterans.
 
Applicability
100%


 
Usability
100%


 
Interoperability
100%


 
Security
100%


 
Validity
100%


 
Reliability
100%


 
Engagement
0%


 
Our Rating
86%
86/100


User Rating
3 total ratings

 


Bottom Line

This app is a stress management tool, which will help you learn how to perform and use diaphragmatic breathing techniques for stress control. It also provides you with education about the biology of stress, the effects of stress on the body, how to do diaphragmatic breathing, and the biology of breathing. Using this app can be helpful to your meditation practice as well. Even though this app was developed by the Department of Defense (DoD) and T2, it is not restricted to use by military or veterans.

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Posted October 19, 2014 by

 
Our Review
 
 

Breathe2Relax can be used as part of your work with a therapist or medical provider, or as a stand-alone tool if you want to learn stress reduction through breathing. It is not required for you to use this app with supervision from a therapist. Its features include instructional videos and text, audio coaching, and progress tracking. Preference settings allow you to customize your experience, and the app can be used anytime and anywhere you feel the need to do relaxation breathing.

 

The instructions for this app are easy to follow, and the extent of the hand-eye coordination needed is to be able to move the slider from left to right on the stress level scale before and after the breathing exercise. Most instructions for setting your user preferences are done with a simple touch on arrows and values. Your results are plotted on a graph and you are able to pull up your results by month to see your progress. You can then share your progress with your provider/therapist if you wish, as part of your therapy plan. Since you are coached through the exercises, comprehension level is not a significant issue.

 

Breathe2Relax can be used on multiple devices, and the exercises do not need to be shared between devices. However, two drawbacks noted by users are

  1. the graph of results from each breathing session does not sync with other devices being used, and
  2. the app or results cannot be transferred to a SD card for storage. You will need to either do the exercises on the same device consistently, or ensure the settings are the same on each device so that the results match across devices.

For these reasons, this app, while effective for teaching and coaching breathing, would be more effective if it did sync and not cause more work for you, and therefore does not get a star at this time.

 

Because this app was developed through the partnership of the Department of Defense and the Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2), security has been put in place using Federal guidelines for clinical practice and HIPPA. The app does not require you to enter any personal demographic or health information, and does not record treatment data outside of plots on a grid, seen only by you and whomever you choose to include.

 

This app’s functions and exercises are based on extensive research on mindfulness, breathing, and stress management conducted by the developers. A direct link is provided to the developer’s website, where you are able to read published research related to the app’s ability to function as stated in the description of how the app works.

 

Once you set your preferences, breathing rate and audio/visual cue settings, the app does the work of implementing these functions. While the users who commented on the app rated it high for usefulness and its ability to help them practice relaxation breathing and have positive outcomes, they also pointed out problems such as- getting error messages that the app had stopped (the most common complaint), not being able to move data or the app to the SD card, the voice interfering with focusing on the music and breathing, and not being able to perform the stress rating scale after the first time used. The developers are aware of the issues, and are currently taking steps to resolve these issues to optimize effectiveness for the user. Many people who have been using this app have reported positive experience with learning how to breathe properly to reduce stress reactions in the body and mind.

 

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Does the app’s set of features adequately cover the range of tasks required to satisfy an actual need?
Does the app “meet workflow requirements and ultimately save time for the user?” Is the app free from “interface clutter, suboptimal eye-thumb coordination, steep learning curve, battery draining of the host device, etc.”?
Can the “app on one device share data with other apps and/or other devices?” Can the app “accept security assurances generated by some other app?”
Does the app have the following capabilities to maintain security- “privacy, not losing data, not being diverted, not being altered by an unauthorized agent, making sure there is no an impersonator communicating with the client/clinician”? Does the app meet HIPAA and FCC security requirements?
Does scientific evidence support the app itself rather than just the concept upon which the app is based?
Does the app accomplish a defined task without crashes, error messages, or complications? Does it perform consistently over time?

About the Author

Karen Wall, MA, RN-BC, BSN
Ms. Wall is a Psychiatric Registered Nurse with the VA at Palo Alto. Her duties include educating nurses, clinicians, and patients about technology to assist with mental health.

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