CBT-i Coach

Best in category Best in Category
Disease Category:
Target Audience: , ,

Clinical Effectiveness
Version: 2.1
Developer: US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Review Date: 2016-11-07
Cost: Free

Overall App Summary:

CBT-i Coach is an app developed by the US Veterans Affairs Office to help veterans with insomnia better manage their sleep regimen. It has many ways of recording and assessing sleep, and with great advice on managing sleep hygiene. The app is intended to augment patients with CBT coaching for insomnia, though can be used independently (though will not replace actual therapy). As a tool, it may be very beneficial, and has significant data demonstrating its validity and efficacy. The only drawbacks of the app is perhaps security (with no option to create and account or password), lack of integration with Apple Healthkit, and a user interface that is lacking in todays market of many attractive apps on the market. The app is meant more as a journal or mechanism to learn about sleep practice, and lacks any way to actually measure sleep at night.


App’s Intended Use:

CBT-i Coach is intended to help patients with cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia in conjunction with a health provider (VA) to help improve sleep habits and guide them through routines to improve sleep hygiene and improve rest.


Who’s this app most useful for?

This app would be most beneficial for patients looking to better manage and track their sleep, and get feedback and advice on sleep evidence-based sleep practices via CBT. This app was designed by the Veterans Affair Department, for use in patients of the VA system, though individuals can still use it independently. It is designed to augment CBT coaching, and is not a replacement for actual therapy.


How should use it?

Users of this app can track their sleep habits and get information on ways to better manage their sleep regimen with helpful tips and tools.


Is the mobile app clinically relevant? Any clinical benefits? How would you use it as a provider?

This app, in conjunction with CBT and professional guidance, has great clinical evidence of working in practice.


Is there any published evidence that the app actually works?

This app has many publications regarding it’s use in clinical practice demonstrating efficacy.


Regulatory Compliance

Most likely exempt from FDA regulatory clearance based on MMA and general wellness guidances.


What is the most important/ desirable feature of the app?

The app has great evidence based treatments and recommendations, though is perhaps a bit hard to navigate, and compared to other apps on the market, lacks a lot on the interface attraction. It does not have a ‘sleep tracker’ mechanism like other apps on the market as well, and does not integrate with the Apple Healthkit app.


How would you compare this app to others in its category?

In terms of evidence, it is superior, but in terms of extended features it is lacking, especially with Apple resources.


If there’s a paid version, is it worth the upgrade?

Not applicable.


Security and Privacy

Password: Surprisingly, no PW requirement.
Data Security:
Data Sharing: Data is shared and tracked in background for app management, and has the option to export data via email to clinician.
Regulatory Compliance:

Timothy Aungst

Timothy Aungst, PharmD, is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University. He graduated from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Luke's University Hospital, and then a Clinical Geriatric Fellowship at MCPHS University. He is passionate about the rise of technology in health care and its application to pharmacy. He has published primarily on the role of mobile technology and mHealth, and made multiple national and international presentations on those topics. He blogs at TheDigitalApothecary.com, and you can find him on Twitter @TDAungst.

Previous clinical contributor for Iodine, inc. Freelance writer for Pharmacy Times.

Maulik Majmudar

Dr. Maulik Majmudar is a practicing cardiologist and Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital; and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in areas of healthcare innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as medical device design and development. Dr. Majmudar started his career as a medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, completed resident training in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and followed by a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School. You can follow him @mmajmudar

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Consultant/ Advisor: AliveCor, BioFourmis, Cardiogram, EchoSense, Facebook, HUINNO, MC10, Nokia; Ownership: BioFourmis, Cardiogram, HiLabs, Quanttus; Research: EchoSense, GE Healthcare, MIT.

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