Can your smartphone measure your mental health?

person on mobile

Researchers unveil mobile monitoring system

Experts have revealed a new smartphone application that can detect changes in mental health patients’ moods and behaviour patterns to improve diagnosis and treatment.

The app, which was created to aid diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of mental health patients, cleverly detects changes in sleep, mobility, communication and vocal patterns before sending the information to medical professionals in real time. The psychiatrists receive a visualisation system that displays the summarised information, giving them instant access and insight into the behaviour trends and fluctuations of their patients.

Mobile mental health

Researchers conducted two clinical trials in which the application was installed on the smartphones of 20 patients suffering from bipolar, unipolar/depressive, or schizoaffective disorders, as well as on the phones of 20 healthy participants, to act as a comparison. Psychiatrists have reported that the trial worked well, already affecting interactions with their patients positively, allowing them to see a ‘window’ into the daily routine of the patient.

The app is also offers security by allowing the patient full control over who is allowed to access the app and the information it contains, with no call or text content being analysed.