Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital brings iPhone app to Canada

Women's College Hospital Toronto

Mobile app-based study PPD ACTTM, which aims to further the understanding of women with postpartum depression (PPD) and postpartum psychosis (PPP), is launching in Canada under the lead of Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital (WCH). The app previously had a successful launch in the U.S. and Australia one year ago.

PPD is a form of clinical depression that occurs in both sexes after childbirth, with symptoms ranging from sadness, low energy and anxiety. Studies have found that 10 to 15 percent of Canadian women have been affected by it. PPP, on the other hand, is rarer illness, leading people to become paranoid, delusional or have rapid mood swings, among other symptoms.

The study is geared towards helping researchers gain a better understanding of the causes of PPD and PPP and why these illness affect certain women over others. Through the app, which was built using Apple’s ResearchKit, researchers will learn more about the genetics of PPD and PPP with the goal of improving detection, prevention and treatment options for these conditions.

The PPD ACTTM app surveys women to identify mothers who have experienced symptoms of PPD or PPP. Women who reveal any history of these conditions, and who agree to participate in the study, will receive a home-based saliva collection kit to be mailed back to the research team for analysis to develop treatments.

Roughly 14,000 women in the U.S. and Australia have enrolled in the iPhone-based research study, with an overarching gaol to gather 100,000 samples from around the globe as the app continues to expand into other areas, such as the United Kingdom and Denmark.

The PPD ACTTM app is available for free on iOS, while more information on the overall study can be found here.

Image credit: Women’s College Hospital