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Mind the Gaps: Assessing and Enhancing the Trustworthiness of Mental Health Apps

Gary Chan Kok Yew

(2022) 34 SAcLJ 891

Mental health apps including artificial intelligence (“AI”)- powered apps and chatbots have raised serious concerns relating to safety, efficacy and privacy. This article assesses their trustworthiness based on lego-regulatory, ethical and technological measures in addressing the abovementioned concerns. Focusing on applications to mental health apps, it examines Singapore laws, regulations and guidelines relating to software-based and AI medical devices, data protection, consumer protection, advertising and medical negligence. Additionally, upon taking into account other non-binding ethical guidelines, certification standards and technological measures targeted at app developers, a few recommendations are offered for enhancing trust in mental health apps.