The knowledge gained from the Army’s recent “Apps for the Army” applications development challenge will be used to quickly acquire software applications. The “Apps for Army” challenge gave one of the five top awards to the Defense Center of Excellence’s National Center for Telehealth and Technology for their Telehealth MoodTracker mobile application.
The T2 MoodTracker allows service members to track their moods and self-monitor their mood variations daily, weekly, monthly, or even from hour to hour. Doing this helps service members understand the impact of stress and common emotional reactions that follow a deployment and helps them understand related behavioral health issues. The application also has the capacity to store information and send the information to the service member’s healthcare provider.
Service members track their moods on a touch screen using a visual analogue scale which allows users to choose a point on a color continuum to reflect their current emotions. According to Dr. Robert Ciulla, psychologist and division lead, T2 MoodTracker is one of the initial tools in a series of mobile applications under development.
Fifty three applications were submitted when the contest closed on May 15th. The other four awards went to a physical training program to help soldiers develop their own PT program. Another award went to a web-based data survey, to a map routing app to use for road navigation, and to an app with information for potential recruits.
Lt. General Jeffrey A. Sorenson, the Army’s Chief Information Officer said, “The process to help develop applications for the Army’s use is time-consuming and difficult. With the acquisition process piloted during the “Apps for the Army” challenge, the Army demonstrated not only a faster way to get capability to the battlefield but how this process can extend to industry.”
He explained that the Army will give industry 30 days to submit an application for new software. At that point, commanders that have expressed a need for new software will have the opportunity to vote on what comes back from industry and the company will then have 60 days to develop the software.
The speed of the process demonstrated with “Apps for the Army” eliminates the need for writing a requirements document, doing a request for proposal, and dealing with the sometimes difficult acquisition process.
For more information on T2, go to www.T2health.org or www.ciog6.army.mil.