Mobileys mobile health winners address teen problems spanning depression, bullies, skin

A couple of mobile health apps singled out for top honors in the Mobileys this week seem to coincide with some of the most challenging problems teens carry with them.

God knows teens don’t have a monopoly on depression and skin problems but a couple of mobile health apps singled out for top honors in the Mobiley Awards this week seem to coincide with some of the most challenging problems they carry with them.

The contest criteria specified that entrants be early stage companies or individuals, have an app that would be ready to demo in November, have a milestone that the Mobiley award could help them meet, and that the app could be run on wireless networks, not just WiFi. Although being a game changer was another criteria listed, it seems like these mobile health applications, while commendable, are pretty consistent with the general trend toward specialized telemedicine applications, particularly dermatology, alerts and different approaches to helping people with depression get help.

The association behind the Mobiley Awards is Mobile Future, which brings together technology companies and nonprofits to support innovation and investment in the wireless sector.

Code Blue got first place and $10,000. Social Code developed the app to help teens who are bullied and or have depression. A description of the app on the company’s website describes it as a panic button that will automatically alert a group of people trusted by the user. They would provide support by text, phone or showing up in person. So why does one need an app, albeit a free one, when they can just send a text message or email to those people themselves? It’s aimed at young people “who perhaps can’t articulate what they are feeling, yet desperately want support,” according to Social Code’s website.  The company said it would use the prize money to further develop the app and bring it through beta testing.

First Derm secured $5,000 after it placed second and also walked away with the People’s Choice award. Its app users send photos of affected areas of skin to a licensed dermatologist. The images are reviewed and assessed within 24 hours. Although dermatologists offer some guidance, the information is intended to help users decide whether they need a dermatologist appointment. The app also offers a reference guide to inform users and a search tool to help locate the nearest pediatrician, dermatologist and pharmacy based on the user’s location. The company said in its application that it would use the award to develop an UI for its dermatologists. The idea is to get answers to users faster.