An app by Swedish mental health startup Flow has become the highest scoring free depression treatment in the ORCHA app library, which evaluates and distributes health apps for governments and health and social care organisations worldwide.
Its inclusion in ORCHA’s app library means that NHS trusts and healthcare professionals using the platform, can now directly recommend Flow to their patients. NHS organisations in around 50% of NHS regions offer libraries on ORCHA.
After downloading Flow, patients are guided by a virtual therapist who offers personalised behavioural therapy, mood tracking and curated videos across areas proven to reduce symptoms of depression, including nutrition, exercise and sleep.
WHY IT MATTERS
During the current COVID-19 pandemic, Flow says that healthcare professionals can use its app to give patients a good understanding of what they can do to improve their mental health.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
Flow’s app works alongside the Flow headset, an at-home brain stimulation headset treatment for depression, which has been medically approved in the EU and UK.
Last year, the startup landed $1.5m in funding in a round led by Khosla Ventures, which it will use towards rolling out its products in Europe.
There has been a surge in telehealth platforms being used to combat poor mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Swedish digital mental health platform, Mindler, announced in April that it had raised €8 million in Series A funding, to aid its European expansion.
Also, British tech firm Oxford VR recently launched a programme, for people suffering from social anxiety, which puts patients into simulated social scenarios where they are guided by a virtual coach.
ON THE RECORD
ORCHA founding CEO, Liz Ashall-Payne, said: “Trust is the biggest barrier when it comes to health app use and uptake, so reviewing and knowing which are the best is critical. All apps listed, including Flow, have been evaluated across more than 260 parameters, including clinical assurance, data privacy and user experience.”
Flow co-founder and CEO Daniel Mansson said: “As a clinical psychologist, I saw how mental health services were overwhelmed by soaring demand, which left patients facing long delays to access care. Psychologists cannot serve everyone, but apps can, so we decided to create one that complements the standard care model for depression and offers healthcare professionals a scalable treatment that is effective, certified and free.”