A made for iPhone, anti-insomnia app, Somryst just received FDA approval but came with a hefty $899 price tag!
The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the number of app-based treatments that have been in the works for mental health conditions that may have previously needed the attention of in-person therapy sessions or prescription medications.
The Mental Health Implications of the Pandemic
As many are aware, the pandemic has exacerbated the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and various other mental health conditions for those that were already struggling.
Unfortunately, the pandemic has also been why many have started to struggle with these issues for the first time.
Moreover, an increased number of people seek treatment to cope with issues seek arising with the lockdown, such as isolation, loneliness, and alcohol abuse.
The Digital Health Space
Business Insider states,
Healthcare providers have also struggled to keep pace with the soaring rates of mental illness for years, with therapists oversubscribed and new antidepressants showing little improvement on their predecessors. Many of the mental-health apps to help people cope, like Calm and Headspace, have seen staggering usage in the pandemic. Mental-health startups are also securing record levels of funding. Now, a select group of apps are seeking not just to help people get by, but to take the treatments normally confined to psychiatric clinics and put them in a person's hand.
Click Therapeutics, Pear Therapeutics, and Orexo are three companies currently leading the charge in the digital health space.
All three companies have developed software to treat various types of mental illness through the use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT helps patients understand why they think and act the way they do.
Inaccessibility & High Costs
Moreover, Pear Therapeutics is at the helm of Somryst, the first-ever FDA-approved app to treat insomnia with CBT, with a nine-week treatment program costing $899.
While an amazing achievement in digital health and clearly cheaper than the cost of in-person treatments, it remains very inaccessible to the average person since the app has an actual doctor actively monitoring the patient's progress.
With Somryst successfully able to secure FDA approval, the future looks very bright for the mental health apps to follow, hopefully at more affordable prices for all.
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