Smartphones as new measuring devices for depression

Smartphones as new measuring devices for depression



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Study: Data from smartphones can indicate depression of the user
Depression manifests itself among other things through lack of drive and the social withdrawal of those affected. According to a US study, the smartphone could find out in the future whether someone has depression. This is because the GPS location of the device can be used to collect data about the user's whereabouts. If someone is predominantly at home and is not very active, this is a sign of psychological problems, according to the study authors, who published their results in the journal "Journal of Medical Internet Research".

Data from the smartphone can provide information about depression
How much time you spend on your cell phone and whether you spend most of your time at home are important indicators of mental health for David Mohr and his colleagues from Northwestern University in Chicago. So it speaks for depression if a person deals with the smartphone frequently and for a long time and is rarely on the go.

Their study showed that depressed study participants spent an average of one hour a day using their cell phones. On the other hand, participants without depression only used the smartphone on average for about a quarter of an hour. According to the researchers, an irregular daily routine is also a sign of a low mood. Cell phone diagnosis was true in 87 percent of the 28 study participants. The procedure thus performed better than the daily survey based on the self-assessment of the study participants.

"When people are depressed, they tend to withdraw and are less motivated to go out and do something," explains psychologist Mohr. Although the phone data would not reveal what the participants were using the smartphone for, it was obvious that many would spend most of the time surfing the Internet or playing games instead of exchanging ideas with friends. The smartphone will likely distract you from thinking about things that are uncomfortable, painful, or difficult.

"The important thing is that we can see whether a person has depressive symptoms and how severe these symptoms are without questioning them," explains Mohr. “We now have an objective measure of behavior related to depression. And we can recognize it passively. Because phones can provide data inconspicuously and without effort for the user. "(Ag)

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