US-based startup, Iodine, has integrated its mental health app, Start, into clinical practice in mental health.

Start was developed with Apple’s CareKit, a framework for app developers building iOS apps that helps patients better manage their health

Iodine is teaming up with TMS Health Solutions, a network of psychiatric service providers, to deploy Start across San Francisco-based TMS clinics in what marks the first instance of an app built with Apple’s CareKit platform being used for mental health in a clinical setting.

Start, one of the first apps to launch with CareKit earlier this year, helps patients suffering from depression to track if their medication is working and share that data with their doctors. The idea is to provide better management and monitoring of patients starting on antidepressants.

“They’re our clinical partner to demonstrate how we close the loop with patient-generated data,” Iodine CEO and Co-founder, Thomas Goetz, told MedCity News.

“We want to help people understand that the first two- four weeks, there may be side effects and ups and downs,” continued Goetz.

The Start app incorporates a survey called the PHQ-9, a clinically-validated mental health questionnaire used to screen, measure and diagnose the severity of depression.

To get started with the app, users first take a test to track their medication, side-effects and emotions in real-time to better understand how their medication is working and determine, along with their physician, whether or not to continue the course of treatment.

The app generates progress reports at regular intervals providing the user with insight into their progress and whether or not they feel better. Another PHQ-9 is administered every couple weeks.

Since the Start app was released in August 2015, the company says 46% of users have reported positive results with their treatment after six weeks. Four weeks into treatment, they have averaged an improvement of nearly six points on the 27-point PHQ-9 test.

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