Remember when telephones only had one purpose? Not that long ago, we just used them to make phone calls. Well, these days our cell phones can do a lot more than that.
Now we even have phones that can help track our moods and provide assistance for mental health issues. And more advanced applications (apps) for smartphones are being created that will help diagnose and treat mental illnesses.
Here are five promising smartphone apps to watch for that are currently being developed:
1) Researchers at Tel Aviv University are working on an app or system that will detect “changes in patients’ behavioral patterns, and then transmits them to professionals in real time,” according to a news release.
Clinical psychiatrists can monitor their patients’ behavior and respond to any major changes when necessary. This will allow their response time to be faster, and they’ll get better insight into how their patients are feeling.
During two clinical trials, the app was used on smartphones of patients with mental disorders and on smartphones of healthy participants.
The app uses data from the actual smartphone, including how many calls and texts were made, and records when participants went to bed and how many places they visited. Changes in these areas could indicate a problem.
2) Another app is being developed to help monitor patients as well. According to a news release, Australia's Monash University is working to create this new app with RMIT University along with beyondblue, a nonprofit organization that works to increase awareness of anxiety and depression.
Social media is a big part of this app, which will be used to help “prevent relapse in a person living with mental illness,” according to the news release.
The app will be associated with Facebook, and as part of a pilot study researchers will analyze participants’ social media interactions in order to hopefully predict any potential future relapses, specifically for people diagnosed with bipolar disorder.