DOTHAN, Ala., April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Forty percent of all psychiatric disorders are treatment-resistant.  Of these, major depression, one of the most common psychiatric disorders in the United States, is overrepresented.  In 2016, an estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had experienced at least one major depressive episode, representing 6.7% of all U.S. adults (NIH, 2016).  The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (10.9%) with 64% having severe impairment (NIH, 2016).

According to the findings from the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study, 50%–66% of patients with depression do not recover fully on an antidepressant medication (NCBI, 2012).  Mental health experts agree that treatment-resistant depression should be diagnosed in patients who have not been helped by two or more antidepressant treatment trials of adequate dose and duration (NCBI, 2012).

In 2000, researchers started studying ketamine as a treatment for depression. Over the years, they’ve discovered it improves mood much faster than traditional antidepressant drugs, and it works when some of these drugs have failed.

Ketamine is FDA-approved as an anesthetic for surgery and diagnostic procedures. It’s also used to treat depression, suicidal thoughts, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), other mood disorders, and nerve-related pain (Watson, 2017).

The founders of COPE, in their more than 60 years of clinical and academic experience, saw a clear, unmet need to provide innovative treatments, like ketamine, to patients suffering from treatment-resistant psychiatric disorders.  To further enhance the assessment and treatment process, they collaborated with CLINICOM™ to optimize data collection, which is expected to lead to better long-term patient outcomes.

Using validated assessment scales, CLINICOM™ has customized its existing software to provide an easy-to-use, multi-step online solution for the ketamine infusion treatment program offered by COPE supported centers.  From the initial screening assessment and throughout the course of treatment, this software provides cutting-edge technology to support both providers and patients.  As assessment results are collected and recorded, this new software solution empowers COPE providers with a vibrant graphical tracking system for quick, easy, and accurate review of their patients’ progress throughout the entire treatment process, as well as data collection for research and analysis with appropriate patient’s consents.  The integration of CLINICOM’s intuitive software technology with this advanced ketamine treatment plan ensures that patients are receiving the highest standard of care available and opens the door for the entire health care industry to adopt similar strategies.   

About COPE

COPE (Centers of Psychiatric Excellence) is a management services organization that offers administrative and advisory support to independently operated psychiatric treatment clinics.  COPE is proud to partner with highly specialized clinics around the country that service the most difficult to treat cases of depression, anxiety (specifically PTSD), and chronic pain. 

COPE was founded by three internationally renowned psychiatrists at Duke University Medical Center:  Prakash Masand, MD; Ashwin Patkar, MD; and Steven Szabo, MD.  In their more than 60 years of clinical and academic experience, they saw a clear, unmet need to provide support and services to facilities that offer evidence-based, innovative treatments for two of the most common medical illnesses in the world: depression and anxiety (specifically PTSD), as well as chronic pain, which can lead to opioid dependency, which has been declared a national health emergency. The founders of COPE are passionate about providing top-notch, cutting-edge support to address these critical healthcare issues.

«This partnership with CLINICOM has allowed us to pioneer customizable solutions that will allow us to improve long-term patient outcomes.» Prakash Masand, MD


CLINICOM™ was developed by Nelson M. Handal, M.D., in collaboration with Harmonex Neuroscience Research.  This software technology was originally developed with two primary goals in mind:  To remotely collect as much valuable information as possible from a patient before the first visit and to use the first visit in a more personalized way, engaging with the patient with enhanced rapport.  Features in CLINICOM™ allow doctors to greatly improve their differential diagnosis and simplify the development of a treatment plan. 

CLINICOM™ developed technology that provides the ability to build customized assessment solutions and work flows based on provider’s individual needs.  We are grateful to have been presented the opportunity to work with COPE in developing their custom software solution.

«Our work with COPE has been a great example of a collaborative effort between a medical information technology company and a renowned group of researchers who are seeking to provide innovative care for patients who suffer from treatment-resistant illnesses.»Nelson Handal, MD       


CONTACT: Angie Turner, 334-836-2000, [email protected]

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