Freespira is an FDA-cleared, medication-free digital therapeutic to treat panic disorder and its symptoms, including panic attacks. Patients that experience panic attacks co-morbid with other anxiety disorders such as PTSD, General Anxiety Disorder, and depression can also be treated. Freespira is authorized by a licensed provider then patients are trained by a clinician and complete twice-daily breathing sessions at-home for 4 weeks. Freespira is used to prevent or eliminate panic symptoms, rather than to interrupt a panic attack in process.
Panic disorder and its symptoms, notably panic attacks, are common, life-impairing conditions also associated with excessive health spending and negative workplace impact. Freespira comprises of a specially designed, custom sensor that measures a patient’s exhaled carbon dioxide (EtCO2) levels and respiratory rate (RR) in real-time. This physiologic data is then transmitted to a tablet where a custom App guides and directs the patient through a 17-minute breathing protocol. The 17-minute sessions are done twice-daily for 4 weeks at-home by the patient. The physiologic data is automatically uploaded to a secure server for review by the clinician or a Freespira Customer Care team member to verify adherence and progress. After 4 weeks, the treatment is complete and Freespira is returned.
This patient-directed protocol directly targets the respiratory dysfunction at the core of panic disorder and panic symptoms. Published randomized controlled trials have demonstrated elimination of panic attacks in 79% of users 12 months post-treatment, and clinically significant improvement in over 82% of users.
Results from the capnometry-assisted respiratory training (CART) protocol clinical trial at Stanford University and other academic centers demonstrated a reduction in panic symptoms, including panic attacks, with 68% of patients panic attack free at 12 months post-treatment. Other studied outcome measures also improved such as the Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS), Clinician’s Global Impression (CGI), and self-reported measures of anxiety .
A larger multi-center Freespira study, recently published in the peer-reviewed Journal Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. , studied patients in a community (non-academic) setting, across a broad spectrum of patient demographics and symptom severity. This study demonstrated similar and in some cases improved outcomes than the original randomized Stanford trial. As before, patients performed two 17-minute breathing sessions per day for 4 weeks at-home controlling their RR and CO2 by reference to the real-time feedback provided by the App. After completion of the one month treatment, Freespira equipment was returned and subjects were followed at 2- , 6- and 12-months. Patient compliance was excellent; 86% of patients completed the 4-week at-home treatment protocol. Results include: