Tactical Breather Mobile App

 
Tactical Breather mobile app
Tactical Breather mobile app
Tactical Breather mobile app

Overview
 

Device: ,
 
Developer: The National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2)
 
Description: This app was originally developed using techniques to teach service members how to use breathing to control their stress, emotions, physiological responses to stress, and increase concentration. You can use this app effectively even if you are not in the military or a veteran. The main purpose of this app’s use is to teach you a researched breathing technique to use during times of anxiety and stress. This is an app that can be used as part of your individual therapy, or just as a relaxation tool if you are not in any kind of therapy.
 
Applicability
100%


 
Usability
100%


 
Interoperability
100%


 
Security
100%


 
Validity
100%


 
Reliability
100%


 
Engagement
0%


 
Our Rating
86%
86/100


User Rating
1 total rating

 


Bottom Line

This app was originally developed using techniques to teach service members how to use breathing to control their stress, emotions, physiological responses to stress, and increase concentration. You can use this app effectively even if you are not in the military or a veteran. The main purpose of this app’s use is to teach you a researched breathing technique to use during times of anxiety and stress. This is an app that can be used as part of your individual therapy, or just as a relaxation tool if you are not in any kind of therapy.

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Posted December 29, 2014 by

 
Our Review
 
 

The need for you to be able to practice controlled, mindful breathing requires a program that acts as a coach and is focused on the task at hand. This app is exclusively for teaching you a technique of relaxation breathing. Users’ reviews gave the feedback that this technique was “a simple concept used to good effect by concentrating on the screen & following the instructions. Does help alleviate shallow, upper tract stress-related breathing and instead, encourages you to take fuller, deeper breaths, which produce a sense of calm & control.”

 

The app, once downloaded onto your device, has an identifiable icon on the screen, which opens directly to the main screen where the breathing exercise will be seen and heard (you have the option of turning off the sound). The screen is simple and displays the countdown numbers in large print and no need to do anything except listen and watch while breathing. The exercise starts up quickly, and has a tutorial for the first time user, and a practice mode to help you learn. You can change the voice gender and graphics on the Settings Page. The Intro provides an audio introduction to the definition of stress and the effects of stress on the mind and body.

 

This app is for the individual user, and does not store information from a practice session. The app is available on any device operating system (Android, Apple, smartphone, tablet, computer), making it available to anyone.

 

When you first open the app, you are first asked to read and accept or decline an “End User Agreement” covering the license and security of the app.
Because practice session data is not recorded or shared, and there is no interaction between you and your provider, you do not have to use it in private or in your therapist’s office.

 

Breathing techniques are the most popular and widely used relaxation practices in mental health practice. Breathing, specifically controlled and mindful breathing, is a central component to relaxation and stress management for people. The technique taught is based on the research and writings of Dave Grossman, a retired Army psychologist who spent many years working with military and law enforcement workers to help them find simple ways to practice stress reduction.

 

The app is called “Tactical Breather”. This app does just what the title states, teach you how to breathe in a controlled manner. Originally developed by and for military personnel, the name “tactical” in the label refers to the practice of controlled, calculated movement in the field by a unit. The voice coaching the breathing counts through inhaling, holding, exhaling and holding, which is different from other apps that count only the inhalation and exhalation.

 

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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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