Sunday, April 10, 2011

Apps Help TBI & PTSD

New smartphone applications and upgrades designed to aid in the treatment of TBI and PTSD are coming this month and will provide new options for service members and their families. One of the new apps is called “Breathe2Relax a portable stress management tool that is headed first to iTunes, than to Android.

The new app can be used as a standalone tool or in tandem with clinical care. The app can be used by a healthcare worker to help individuals with proper deep-breathing exercises to reduce stress and use video based instruction to explain how the body reacts to stress.

The National Center for Telehealth and Technology known at (T2) located at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma Washington, last September released their “Mood Tracker” application for android-enabled smartphones. This application won first place in the mental health category of the Army’s 2010 “Apps4Army” software development challenge.

Since the “MoodTracker” app was launched, the software has been downloaded nearly 13,000 times and for nearly 34,000 sessions. “The beauty of the “MoodTracker” is that individuals can record in real time, their actual emotions and actually graph them”, reports Robert Ciulla, a Clinical Psychologist at T2. Now developers at T2 are working on an upgraded version of the “MoodTracker” software that will also be available for iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store and will come with a new user interface and improved navigation.

Development of new apps is just the beginning. The Army is working on a larger software suite to offer in the future. The plan is to create as many as two dozen applications, including more apps for individuals to use on the go. Also some apps are going to be designed to target healthcare providers and provide access to clinical practice guidelines for PTSD, depression, and other health issues.