JUN 02, 2021 2:15 PM PDT

New Technology May Help Patients Better Monitor Changes in Their Mental Health

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a new electronic platform that, when integrated with the capabilities of existing smart and wearable devices, could offer a new way to help patients monitor their mental health. 

As described in a recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice, the platform is a collection of software programs that can be integrated with smart and wearable devices, such as an Apple watch. The software can gather a range of information about the user, such as face and voice recognition and heart rate trends. Through collecting this data, the software develops a baseline for a “normal state of arousal.” Using this information, the software’s algorithms can start to identify when an individual may be outside their “normal”. Combined with more subjective patient-reported outcomes, researchers may be able to get a more comprehensive picture of a patient’s mental state at any given time.

"The key here is triangulation," said Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, assistant professor in the Wm Michael Barnes '64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. "Each of these methods on their own, say facial sentiment analysis, show promise to detect the mental state, albeit with limitations. But when you combine that information with the voice sentiment analysis, as well as physiological indicators of distress, the diagnosis and inference become much more powerful and clearer."

This research comes at a time when smart and wearable devices are changing how people manage their healthcare care. An increasing number of U.S. adults, for example, use wearable smart devices for various reasons, including the management of conditions like diabetes or various heart conditions.

Because mental illness requires more care over the long-term compared to some “physical” illnesses, there is a need to find ways to monitor a patient’s health between visits with a provider. The platform developed by Dr. Sasangohar’s team may help fill that gap while also offering a discreet way for patients to manage their care and avoid the stigma of mental illness.

"Because of the stigmatization that surrounds mental illness, we wanted to build a mental health monitoring device that was very discreet," said Sasangohar. "So, we chose off-the-shelf products, like smartphones, and then build sophisticated applications that operate within these devices to make monitoring mental health discreet."

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Writer and teacher with a background in professional writing and communication. Experience in higher education and writing for patient education and recruitment in the clinical research industry.
You May Also Like
APR 22, 2021
Technology
Using Human Hair to Improve Solar Technology?
APR 22, 2021
Using Human Hair to Improve Solar Technology?
Solar power usage, used frequently in the United States to generate electricity, has been steadily rising since 1984. Ne ...
APR 27, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
No Batteries: Health Sensor Harvests Biomechanical Energy
APR 27, 2021
No Batteries: Health Sensor Harvests Biomechanical Energy
An international team of researchers has developed a wearable health monitor that works without the need for batteries. ...
MAY 20, 2021
Technology
Brain Imaging May Predict Pediatric Response to Anxiety Medication: Study
MAY 20, 2021
Brain Imaging May Predict Pediatric Response to Anxiety Medication: Study
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 4.4 million children ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed w ...
JUN 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mapping the Boundaries of the Heliosphere
JUN 16, 2021
Mapping the Boundaries of the Heliosphere
Earth and the planets in the solar system sit within the heliosphere, a giant bubble formed by the charged particles, li ...
JUN 24, 2021
Technology
New Hydrogel Designed to Prevent Post-surgical Heart Tissue Adhesions
JUN 24, 2021
New Hydrogel Designed to Prevent Post-surgical Heart Tissue Adhesions
Nearly 20% of cardiac surgery patients will require another operation at some point in the future. This is especially tr ...
JUL 20, 2021
Space & Astronomy
The Moon Landing, 52 Years Later
JUL 20, 2021
The Moon Landing, 52 Years Later
On July 16, 1969 the Apollo 11 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral (Cape Kennedy) Florida. Four days later, astr ...
Loading Comments...