A Mobile Phone That Spots Depression

Scientists at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine say they’re developing a mobile phone, Mobilyze!, designed to detect when the phone’s user is feeling blue.

A small trial has shown the phone has been effective in reducing depression, Mashable and others have reported.

The phone features sensor data that “interprets your location, activity level (via an accelerometer), social context and mood, ultimately detecting signs of depression,” according to Mashable. “The phone learns your typical lifestyle patterns, and notices if you are making calls and getting emails. If it thinks you are creating an isolating environment, it will suggest that you call or see friends.”

Perhaps it also suggests you not look at your cell phone bill? Can you imagine if Apple’s virtual assistant Siri could also be your therapist?

Kidding aside, the scientists say that tests on eight volunteers has found the Mobilyze! Phone boosted their moods.

“They all had a major depressive disorder when they started, and they were all both clinically and statistically better at the end of the treatment,” psychologist David Mohr told CBS.


mobile phone, cellphone, depression