The computer age has dramatically impacted the practice of medicine. No matter what specialty of health care you look to, technology has enabled new tools to support the work of providers and facilitate the healing of patients.
Behavioral health is no exception.
Mobile computing platforms, such as smart phones and tablet computers, provide capabilities that can provide constant, hip pocket access to a range of potentially helpful tools.
The Department of Defense (DoD), National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2), the Center for Deployment Psychology (CDP), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Center for PTSD collaborated to develop the PE Coach smartphone app. This new smartphone application, or app, was recently released to support the face-to-face psychotherapy of service members or veterans engaged in treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When a patient is diagnosed with PTSD, behavioral health providers have several effective treatments from which to choose. One of those treatments, prolonged exposure (PE), asks patients to revisit the memory of the traumatic event in their imagination.
These sessions are audio recorded and the patient listens to the recording each day. Between PE treatment sessions, patients also confront safe but distressing situations, places, and circumstances that either remind them of the trauma or feel unsafe.