Depression detecting smartphones this week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast. I’m going to tell you something that might have never occurred to you. Your smartphone knows when you’re not feeling well and maybe even when you’re depressed. According to a new study out of Northwestern University Medicine, scientists have discovered that the amount of time a person spends on their phone translates to their level of depression.
According to the Northwestern study, depressed individuals spend more than sixty minutes in a day on their phones checking apps and social media. A non-depressed person spends around 17 minutes. Similar data from GPS tracking of the phone’s location determined that spending most of your time in one or just a few locations is also a sign of depression. Using these and other sensors in the phone, the researchers at Northwestern can predict depression in a patient with nearly 90% accuracy!
So what if you could just download an app, maybe at the recommendation of your primary care doctor and based on the tracking data over a week or so they decide to refer you to a counselor or perhaps a psychiatrist for antidepressants. This is just another example of how we can use the connected data of the devices we carry with us all the time to help us live and manage healthier lives.
What do you want to know more about in your healthcare life? Perhaps researchers will find a way to help you be better informed about it soon. Stay tuned here to Health Tech Weekly each week on Tuesday. I’ll bring it to you as I find reports online about new smartphone health technology for you!
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