Iodine’s Start App and BFD Study
Postpartum Progress is excited to be continuing its partnership with Iodine, the creators of an app for your iOS smartphone called Start that helps you track your progress when starting a new anti-depressant. We believe that when your health information is given to you in an easy to understand way, you’ve got the power to act on it and make better decisions. Better decisions can mean a quicker recovery and that you’ll start feeling like yourself again.
Start is used when you first try an antidepressant and is also really valuable when you make a change to the dose of your current medication. The app is a quick download to your phone and set up will take a few minutes as the app guides you through a nine question depression screening test and asks for details about your medication. Start helps to get rid of some of the confusion about your new medication by:
- Sending you a push notification when it’s time to take your dose
- Providing encouraging tips and check-ins throughout the day
- Tracking your mood and depression symptoms along with any changes
- Asking about possible side effects of your medication
- Providing alternative strategies for managing your depression like exercise, sleep, and eating habits
Every two weeks Start will provide you with a report that you can then take with you to your doctor to discuss your progress. You’ll be able to talk about changes in your mood and other symptoms with more confidence and work with your doctor as you decide next steps in your treatment.
Samantha, one our moms who has used the app writes, “I am just at the month marker of taking my new meds and by the way I’m feeling, I know they are working and when I meet with my doctor I don’t have to try and remember that the meds make me tired, or not sleep enough, or I didn’t want to eat the first week I started. I wish this app was around all the times I started new meds for my depression/anxiety in the past. Sometimes it’s hard to rely on memory and with something this important I didn’t want to forget a thing.”
And Meaghan shared, “I found it helpful. Especially when it would say things like “you seem like you’re still anxious, but it’s okay because your medicine still needs time to work.” It gave me clarity to see that things were improving as time went on, and also helped my doctor and I decide to increase my dose by 10mg.”
Based on feedback from our Warrior Mom community and discussion with Iodine, we’re going to be piloting several new features including:
- Push notifications from the Postpartum Progress team that offer encouragement, tips and suggestions as you progress through your treatment.
- A private community forum hosted by Iodine where you can connect with other Warrior Moms who are also using the app. The community will be supported by the Postpartum Progress team and you’ll be able to ask questions and provide feedback.
The BFD Study
Using the Start app, Iodine wants to increase the amount of data available to study depression and medication. The Better, Faster Depression Study will be used researchers to find out what treatments work better, faster, and with fewer side effects. This is not only good news for you right now, but also for other mamas down the road.
Participating is easy. All you need to do is download the Start app and enter the referral code bfds to have your data included in the study. No information is personally identifiable and there is no extra time on your part. Just use Start like you normally would for four weeks.
Your participation in the study also means Iodine will donate $20 to Postpartum Progress. Once you download and launch the app, BE SURE to enter the referral code bfds and select Postpartum Progress as the charity to receive the $20 donation from Iodine.
Note: While the landing page instructs you to use it in upper case, please type bfds in lower case at this time.
App Development Feedback
Iodine is also interested in getting your feedback about Start and working together to make it better! This is an incredible opportunity for Warrior Moms and Postpartum Progress to use our voice and the power of our community to influence the design of tools and programs that can help in recovery from PPD.
What kind of information do you want it to collect and provide feedback on? Are there technical issues that make it hard to use? Is the interface user friendly? What information is valuable to mamas? How can the app connect you closer to peer support? What additional treatments would you like to see included in the app? Therapy? An exercise log? Sleep tracking? Additional integration with apps you already use?
Leave your feedback in the App Store, on our Facebook page, or here on the blog. And Android users, we haven’t forgotten about you. Iodine is busy working on a version of Start for your phones that will launch in the next few months. We’ll be sure to let you know when it’s available.