Waco Family Medicine doctors create app to aid mental health treatment decisions | Local News

While primary care physicians may look for such problems in their patients, keeping up with possible treatments, especially pharmaceutical drugs, can be challenging.

“The family doctor sees a lot of things going through the door,” said Dr. Zach Sartore, family physician and guideline editor. “The[psychopharmacology]literature is very extensive and much of it is not written with primary care physicians in mind.”

To correct this, Waco Family Medicine doctors began working about three years ago on a project, funded by the Episcopal Health Foundation, that would bring existing research and practice guidance for mental health and behavioral problems into an easy-to-use format. Condensing the literature was a daunting task, Kelly said, as was software development on the computer side of things.

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Doctors loved what they found in a medical app developed for cervical cancer screening and got Georgia-based developer Zimmdot to produce the Waco Guide app. A major step forward came in collaboration with the Academy of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, whose faculty members evaluated and approved pharmacological and behavioral decision trees.

A guide to general care physicians, it contains recommendations in pharmacology for nearly a dozen special groups, including children and adults with heart disease, kidney or liver problems, and obesity. Getting the go-ahead from some of the country’s top psychiatrists that the evidence was accurate proved to be a big shot in the arm for Waco developers.

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