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Health Watch: An App For Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Stephanie Stahl reports on a new approach to helping war veterans stay on top of their healthcare.

A growing number of doctors are turning to pocket-sized technology to help vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with physical and psychological wounds. And it’s helping veterans make progress.

For Javier Negrete, progress is measured in small steps. The Iraq war veteran was on a two week leave from the Army in 2005 when he was in a car accident.

“No broken bones. No cuts. But I hit my head way too hard,” said Javier.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

To help patients like him, more and more VA doctors are turning to a new tool. It’s called the PTSD Coach.

“It’s just a phenomenal resource. In the past, we wouldn’t have known how to have done this,” said Dr. David Graham, with the VA Medical Center.

It’s a free smart phone app that helps veterans, like Javier, manage stress, keep track of appointments and access care. It provides reliable information on post-traumatic stress disorder and treatments available.

Watch the video…

Doctors hope the app will help break through the stigma that some veterans say comes with the disorder.

“Just because they have PTSD or some other problem, doesn’t mean they’re broken. They can still come and get help. We can try and help them get better,” said Dr. Graham.

The app can offer support and help at users’ finger tips, and allow them to track their symptoms. It is not intended to replace professional care.

For more information on the PTSD Coach, click here.

Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS3

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