A mobile app being pilot tested could help physicians and mental health professionals keep tabs on the well-being of patients with depression, anxiety, stress and behavioral disorders between visits.
The Mobile Therapy System app is from Self-Echo, a start-up company supported by the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based incubator Noospheric. Patients using the smartphone app are prompted to self-report how they feel based on their daily calendar, daily activities and other personalized pre-set criteria.
A patient with an important meeting, for instance, would be prompted following the meeting with a series of questions on how he or she feels, such as feeling hopeful or not at all, or being focused or distracted. Patients are asked to check in two to 10 times a day depending on their diagnosis and circumstances. This is cognitive behavioral health, says Jacques Habra, co-founder and CEO at Self-Echo.
The mobile therapy app also will tie into other apps to expand additional data on the effect that music and other stimulations have on patients, and even the people they are around, to track progress between therapy sessions. The company has licensed third-party software developed at the University of Texas in Austin to work with the app to track words in outgoing emails to assess a patients emotional sentiment.
The target market for the app is clinical psychologists, mental health professionals in hospitals and social services professionals, Habra says. They will generally prescribe the app for two weeks to two months, and use it to monitor patient status, with data presented on a secure website. If anxiety or other stress levels spike, a clinician can know about it early and intervene immediately or talk about it during the next session.
Clinicians will pay a fee of $50 per month or $500 per year for unlimited use during the first year, but the app likely will be free for a couple of months when it goes to market in late November. The app also will enable clinicians to take notes during sessions on a mobile or desktop computer, and eventually will evolve into a practice management system handling insurance, scheduling and billing. More information is available here.
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