Being cooped up inside all day inst the best for mental health issues, and with doctors cancelling appointments, some people are really struggling. If you suffer from anxiety and have panic attacks, there’s an app helping people deal with this from their own homes.
During times of crisis, stress and panic levels are often high. Things can be particularly difficult if you suffer from anxiety and depression, especially with not being able to visit your doctor. Two professors from the University of Vermont, developed an app to help with this.
It’s called ‘Panic Mechanic’, and this is how it works, “It uses the camera on your smartphone to track your heart rate. And heart rate is an indicator, especially an elevator heart rate. Its and indicator of your bodies physiological response during an attack. So we use that to help understand how your body’s responding during while you’re having a panic attack,” says Dr. Ryan McGinnis, Co-Founder of ‘Panic Mechanic’ and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Vermont.
And while this is a helpful tool for patients, it could also provide new information that mental health experts don’t often get to monitor.
“The typical way people manage their panic attacks, is by going in and talking about them,” says Dr. Ellen McGinnis, Co-Founder of the app and Assistant Professor of Child Psychiatry at the University of Vermont. “But they usually don’t have panic attacks in session and so its nice to be able to have this measurement tool on your cell phone because you’re supposed to open it up when you feel a panic attack coming on, so you can actually use it during the panic attack. Which is different and hopefully is very helpful to people.”
The professors say the app was not developed because of the coronavirus, but say with what’s going on in the nation, it couldn’t have been released at a better time.