Mental health startup Flow has become the highest-scoring free depression treatment app in the ORCHA App Library. The inclusion means that many NHS trusts and healthcare professionals, who have their own bespoke App Library using the ORCHA platform, can now include Flow in their library and directly recommend it to their patients to reduce symptoms of depression – particularly during the current coronavirus pandemic.
The app uses evidence-based psychology and neuroscience research to help patients understand, treat and prevent depression.
Flow achieved a 72% rating at ORCHA, the world’s leading health app evaluation and distribution organisation, which supports the national NHS Digital programme. The ORCHA Review of Flow can be viewed here (for iOS), and here (for Android).
Liz Ashall-Payne, Founding CEO, ORCHA, 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. NHS organisations in 50% of NHS regions offer libraries on the ORCHA platform. Their health and care professionals can now refer patients directly to Flow. All apps listed, including Flow, have been evaluated across more than 260 parameters, including Clinical Assurance, Data Privacy and User Experience.”
Co-founder and CEO Daniel Mansson says that he started Flow together with his co-founder Erik Rehn because of the mental health crisis. “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.”
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. During the current coronavirus pandemic, healthcare professionals can use Flow to give patients a good understanding of what they can do to improve their mental health. The Flow app is free on iOS and Android, and has been downloaded over 10,000 times.
The Flow app works alongside the Flow headset, a drug-free, at-home brain stimulation headset treatment for depression – the first, and only, of its type to be medically approved in the EU and UK. The type of brain stimulation used in the Flow headset has been shown in various clinical studies, including New England Journal of Medicine and the British Journal of Psychiatry, to have a similar impact to antidepressants, but with fewer and less-severe side effects.