Detecting Mental Health Issues get a boost from Mobile Apps

Diagnosing mental health problems is challenging. But, today technology is assisting doctors in taking better care of patients. One such technological advancement is the Mindstrong Health’s app. A recent study published in NPJ Digital Medicine uses this app to analyze if smartphone habits can predict when mental health problems occur and the reason behind their occurrences.

This study, which measured user’s daily habits and determined when these habits deviate- biomarkers. 27 volunteers helped healthcare providers to collect this information by using this smartphone app. When these habits were linked with other social and environmental data, it gave information that was needed to predict mental health issues.

This app collects data about daily activities of smartphone users. The data includes swipes, keystroke events, and taps used to identify 1,000 digital biomarkers over the period of 7 days.

Dr. Paul Dagum the researcher and Chief Executive of Mindstrong, who conducted this study said that digital biomarkers form the edifice of measurement based mental healthcare. He mentioned that mental healthcare can improve if we have superior methods to measure cognitive function and brain health. These methods should be quantitative, consistent, and objective driven.

This technology studies the patterns of interaction after tracking words used, where and when calls are made. These patterns are then produced into objective measures of brain functions.

The passive app lets doctors monitor the day-to-day activities of patients with neurodegenerative and neuropsychological conditions without disturbing the patients.