Prolonged exposure therapy is considered by many experts to be among the most effective treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To ensure patients get the most out of this treatment, the National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2) created PE Coach, a mobile application that helps patients complete their homework assignments. What is PE? In PE treatment, therapists help patients confront their trauma-related memories, thoughts, feelings, and situations. Repeated exposure to these situations and memories helps patients learn skills to master stressful feelings that may arise. During sessions, therapists and patients discuss situations that cause high anxiety and ways the patient can cope with his or her feelings. In between sessions, Patients are asked to complete homework assignments that include listening to recordings of the previous session and exposing themselves to anxiety-inducing situations. During these situations, patients are asked to take notes and bring them to the next session. How does the PE Coach help? Experts found that one in five patients drop out of PE treatment, and one of the main reasons is because they find it difficult to keep up with the homework, said Joe Jimenez, Public Affairs Officer for T2. PE Coach aims to make patients’ homework assignments easier and more convenient to complete. For example, PE Coach allows patients to record each therapy session directly to their smartphone. When it comes time to review the session at home, they can simply find a private area and plug in a pair of headphones. In the past, patients had a recording of the session on CD, which made it difficult to find a private place to listen. Sure, many cars have CD players, but that is not the optimal environment to review the session, Jimenez said. Patients were also reluctant to take notes in a notebook or worksheet when they faced a situation that triggered high anxiety such as a visit to the shopping mall. The PE Coach lets patients make notes in their phone, which is more commonplace in public areas and less conspicuous. The application is helpful for clinicians too. PE Coach tracks each time the patient makes a note or listens to the recorded session. This helps the clinician monitor the patient’s progress and make sure he or she is doing the work. “PE Coach is a revolutionary mobile application that has initiated a paradigm shift in the way that behavioral health services are provided, the way behavioral healthcare providers are trained and the way in which we conduct psychological research,” said Don Workman chief of the Innovative Technology Applications Division at T2. T2 worked with the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to develop PE Coach as a tool to help treat soldiers and veterans, but it can also be used by clinicians and patients in the private sector. Since the application launched July 31, the application has been downloaded 2,472 times. Jimenez said he is encouraged by the number of downloads, and T2 has gotten feedback from people who have said the application has helped them in their treatment. T2 also welcomes suggested improvements for the application.