The Start app will no longer be available for use effective Sept. 30, 2017.

We regret to say that we have decided to discontinue the Start app. We realize this app has helped many people since it first launched, and we’re proud of the impact it’s had. However, as a free app that requires a good deal of manual upkeep and oversight, it’s not possible to continue devoting considerable resources to maintaining the app. We are putting all our energy and available resources towards our website, Iodine.com, a free resource that offers rich data and information about people’s real-life experiences with medications.

In the months ahead, we will release some new web services - new consumer tools and information - that will build on what we’ve learned with Start to help people find what they need in more areas of mental and physical health, including depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. We’re very excited about these new resources, and believe they will help a great many people cope with the confusion and challenge of finding effective treatments for their conditions.

This means that Start will no longer function as of Sept. 30, 2017. If you are currently using the app, you will not be able to add data or look at previous progress reports after Sept. 30.

How to save your reports

Effective Sept. 30, 2017, you will no longer be able to access your progress reports in the Start app. If you want to save a past report for future reference, the best way is to take screenshots. To ensure you get access to your reports, you must take screenshots before Sept. 30, 2017.

Here's how:

  • - For iPhone users, open the report and scroll to where you want to capture information (most people will start at the top). Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on the top or side of your device. Then immediately press and release the Home button at the bottom of your device. This will capture what’s on your screen. Then scroll down or over on your report, and take another screenshot. Continue until you’ve captured the whole report. For more information on screenshots using iPhone, read here.
  • - For Android users, if you are using Android 4 or later, first open the report and scroll to where you want to capture information (most people will start at the top of a report). Then press and hold the power and volume down buttons at the same time. This will capture what’s on your screen. Then scroll down or over on your report, and take another screenshot. Continue until you’ve captured the whole report. For more information on screenshots using Android, read here.

If you have a problem taking screenshots, please contact us at hello@iodine.com.

If you would like to download the raw data from your experience using Start, please contact us at hello@iodine.com before Sept. 30, 2017. We will not be able to see your personal information (i.e., name and email) linked to your data, so we will need your randomly assigned User ID, available in the app, to find your data. When you contact us, we can give you instructions on how to locate your User ID.

Note that this raw data will not visualize the data as in a report, but will be a timelog of what you reported into the app. It will be in JSON format, a software file format that uses human-readable text. Please note that for people without technical skills, this format will likely be of little use or meaning. All requests for raw data must be received by Sept. 30, 2017.

About the data

In the two years since we launched Start, thousands of people have used the app to track their experience with medications. This data has been helpful to them, and helped us learn about how well medicines work for depression. It’s important to note that Start never requires personally identifiable information - no emails, usernames, or logins. All personally identifiable users data is anonymized in our dataset. Therefore, there’s no way to identify any individual person based on what they’ve shared in using the app.

We will continue to retain this anonymous dataset in accordance with our privacy policy, which all users consented to when they started using the app. We have had discussions about sharing the data - entirely anonymized and in accordance with our privacy policy - with several esteemed academic researchers, in the hopes of bringing their expertise to learning more about the experience of depression. Our hope is that this data might help academic researchers make worthwhile insights that could help more people find the treatments they need. In this way, all Start users will have a chance to have their experience contribute to a better understanding and treatment of depression.

What else to use

There are several other apps that may be of help to people who have used Start.

Moodpath is an interactive mental health screening and improvement program that detects symptoms of depression. After answering questions concerning your emotional and physical well-being you receive a professional assessment of your mental health that you can share and discuss with your physician or therapist. Moodpath is a CE-certified medical product and does not collect any personal data. Moodpath is available on iTunes here and for Android here.

  • - Seven Cups of Tea offers direct and anonymous emotional support and counseling from trained active listeners, via text chat. It also includes dozens of mindfulness exercises and some personalized care tips and videos. It is available on iTunes here and on Android here.
  • - PillPack is a pharmacy that delivers a better, simpler experience. Their beautifully designed app lets you stay up to date with your medications and manage your service with this app. It’s available on iTunes here.
  • - Mango Health simplifies your daily health routine around medications. The app features include reminders to take your medicine and keep up with healthy habits, drug interaction information, a health history, and a daily health diary. It is available for iTunes here and for Android here.

We hope you find these apps useful, and we are grateful to you for using Start. If you have any questions or feedback, please write us at hello@iodine.com.