The days when mobile phones were “simply” a tool used to connect people distant in space, seem so far away. A novelty that eradicates once again this definition, now outdated, is launched by a startup from Palo Alto, California.
Mindstrong health managed to develop an app capable of collecting data regarding the cognitive sphere and emotional health of patients based on how they use their phone.
A remote machine learning system is in charge of performing the analysis while the results are shared with both the patients and their doctors.
The innovation consists in evaluating the emotional state of users considering characteristic parameters such as: touch, types and scroll on the smartphone screen. Researchers claim that even the most common and natural gestures in our daily life can reveal much on the often cryptic emotional sphere of people, managing to diagnose even potential depressive relapses.
Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder: these are just some of the mental conditions that the founders of the cited app, including the former director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, are determined to contribute in improving and treating.
Continuous monitoring, minute after minute, day after day, for months guarantees a direct, objective and constant observation of the mental health of the patient. To date, thousands of patients are using the app and 5 years of clinic data collection will be used to evaluate the technology and validate it scientifically.
Among future perspectives, a study aims at evaluating how the app can be used to help those who don’t suffer from the listed disorders but could be on the verge of developing depression or commit suicide.
Such delicate and complex conditions can maybe find in the near future, a valid help in an object that is often taken for granted and is by now part of everybody’s life.