SparkRx to Treat Depression Symptoms

May 1, 2022 | Technology Forecasts


​SparkRx is a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)–based therapeutic smartphone application being developed as an adjunct​​​ treatment for symptoms of depression in adolescents. Compared with antidepressants and in-person psychotherapy, SparkRx is a non-drug treatment that can be used on-demand and independently at home. It might increase patient access to mental health care, considering nationwide mental health provider shortages, and might be more preferable to adolescents and parents than adjunctive antidepressants, which often cause side effects and carry an increased risk of suicidal ideation and behaviors in adolescents.

SparkRx is a self-guided program based on CBT that purportedly treats symptoms of depression by teaching skills to enhance awareness of the relationship between mood and behavior. These ​​include mood tracking, behavioral activation (engaging in activities that promote better mood), problem solving, mindfulness, and planning to avoid symptom relapse. The app also provides education on depression, mood, and behavior. A program guide called Limbot guides users through 5 levels of the program—1 level per week—that provide interactive activities and education. Users also complete...

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