Wednesday, 30 July 2014
People with bipolar disorder may soon be able to use their phones to track their moods, just by using their voices. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed and are testing a smartphone app called PRIORI that analyzes vocal changes in hopes of recognizing early warning signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder.
PRIORI has been used with a small group of clients to test its effectiveness in terms of both vocal analytics and privacy. Analysis is done on outgoing speech, only what the client speaks, without any recording of the other side of the conversation.
In conjunction with testing the smartphone apps, the clients are meeting with clinicians who are making their own assessments of the client’s mood changes. The team is finding that the app is able to recognize warning signs of both hypomanic and depressive episodes and this data coincides with what is noted by the clinicians who are meeting with the clients face to face.
There is still significant work to be done on researching and implementing PRIORI, but the early study results are encouraging and exciting.
People use their phones more often than they interact with their mental health providers, and there is benefit to an app that recognizes warning signs of decreased stability and communicates them to providers in real time. Some who are struggling with their symptoms become resistant or do not feel that they need intervention by their mental health providers. If the providers receive information from a different source, they may then be inclined to reach out to the individual to offer support, even before the individual realizes they should seek it.
We are excited to be launching a Bipolar Disorder in Adults Webinar this fall. Sign up to be notified when registration is open.
For monitoring depression, try our Depression Wellness Analyzer.