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Mobile device for depression in development

Posted by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM
rho
  • 4 Replies

 Scientists from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, are working on a mobile phone that will be able to recognize signs of depression and offer suggestions to help overcome it.

The device, called Mobilyze!, is still under development, but a small test sample has already given positive feedback in terms of the phone’s ability to reduce depression signs.

Sensor data allows the device to read your mood, activity level, and social context, which enables it to pick up on signs of depression. By learning your lifestyle patterns and assessing the number of phone calls and messages you receive, the phone is able to detect if you are falling into unhealthy or isolating patterns. It can make suggestions, such as to call a friend, to help get you back on track.

“By prompting people to increase behaviors that are pleasurable or rewarding, we believe that Mobilyze! will improve mood,” explained psychologist David Mohr, director of the new Center for Behavioral

Intervention Technologies and a professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern’s Feinberg School. “It creates a positive feedback loop. Someone is encouraged to see friends, then enjoys himself and wants to do it again. Ruminating alone at home has the opposite effect and causes a downward spiral.”

In addition to Mobilyze!, Northwestern is working on other devices to assist those with mental health problems.

“The potential to reduce or even prevent depression is enormous,” said Mohr. “These new approaches could offer fundamentally new treatment options to people who are unable to access traditional services or who are uncomfortable with standard psychotherapy. They also can be offered at significantly lower costs, which make them more viable in an era of limited resources.”

by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 1:45 PM
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Replies (1-4):
annaica
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 1:48 PM
I heard about this! I think it will be helpful!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
rhodaj
by rho on Mar. 4, 2012 at 1:53 PM

 I think it will be too.

elwalters77
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 4:51 PM
Wow! Awesome!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
matreshka
by on Mar. 4, 2012 at 5:29 PM

Its good that they are developing helpful apps like this and not just fluff.

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