A new mobile app has been created that can detect a person’s mental health based on the way they use their phone. The app is called PROSIT and it has been developed by a team of researchers at Dalhousie University.
The app basically uses some easily-tracked features of a person such as their sleep and exercise routine, the frequency and history of their calls and messages, music preferences, and other data in the phone. Moreover, it can also detect the speed and force of your typing, which might suggest your current state such as being emotionally charged up.
In addition to that, users can also self-report their feelings to the app via 90 seconds long audio clips. The app will then rate their emotional and mental state on a five-point rating scale.
The app is currently being tested on about 300 people, a lot of whom are subjects of a mental health condition.
The creators of the app have also taken privacy concerns into consideration in relation to the tracking of users’ online activity. Therefore, users are required to sign a consent form first and their data is stored in a secure location.
PROSIT is definitely a great innovation for addressing mental health concerns. It might not provide a diagnosis or a full-fledged picture of a person’s mental wellbeing, but is certainly of use to mental health professionals in tracking and developing a better understanding of their patient’s mental wellbeing outside of sessions. Moreover, in this time of a pandemic, the app can serve as a great tool to enhance psychological treatment when telehealth calls are the only way to connect with a mental health professional.