One in 9 women experience symptoms of postpartum depression nationally, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The prevalence of that problem, along with the widespread scope of anxiety and depression, recently spurred Philadelphia-based health system Jefferson Health to partner with Philadelphia-based digital health startup NeuroFlow to offer a new digital health platform to help address patients' mental health.
NeuroFlow is a digital platform that facilitates healthcare management for patients in between traditional office-based visits. It enables physicians to do a number of things remotely such as assign surveys to patients, set reminders and encourage mindfulness and meditation sessions, according to the companies. Data are collected and sent to the care team to review for outlier behavior or struggles with treatment and to enable care providers to coordinate on treatment plans.
The new tool launched with Jefferson Health includes a mobile app to help patients communicate their progress and encourage their engagement, according to NeuroFlow. The companies worked together on the platform to provide the perspective of a technologist to interpret data and keeping in mind the user experience of a clinician and patient, the companies said.
Clinicians will be using the platform at 20 locations across the Jefferson Health enterprise, spanning primary care, OB-GYN and behavioral health.
"It’s critical to integrate mental with physical wellness, and I’m proud that Jefferson will be the first academic health center to collaborate with NeuroFlow," Stephen Klasko, M.D., president of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health, said in a statement. “Together, we can reinforce the vital link between physical and mental health and ensure patients are more engaged. It will deliver better outcomes and reduce the administrative burden placed on our providers.”
NeuroFlow launched in 2016 in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania’s neuroscience department co-founder Chris Molaro, an Army veteran, who was spurred to develop the company after returning home from a tour in Iraq as a platoon leader. Molaro witnessed firsthand how subjectivity in the mental health process too often results in poor quality of life and unnecessary financial costs for veterans and civilians alike, the company said.
Molaro and his team developed the platform to enable remote monitoring and behavioral health integration across the continuum of care, including psychology, primary care and pain management settings.
“We’re looking beyond older models of delivering care and finding ways to enhance treatment for our patients,” said Michael Vergare, M.D., professor and chairman of psychiatry and human behavior at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health. “NeuroFlow helps us to reinforce the work we are doing during our traditional appointments and provides a better way for clinicians to partner with patients to monitor their progress during treatment.”
NeuroFlow raised $2.28 million in the fourth quarter of 2018, and the platform is used by more than 450 medical professionals throughout the country.
“Measurement-based care is no longer just a talking point, but a common practice, especially for Jefferson Health and their desire to enhance precision medicine and technology capabilities,” said NeuroFlow Chief Operating Officer Adam Pardes.