Health apps are gaining some popularity, especially after smartwatches came into the business with health sensors like heart rate monitors, gyroscope, accelerometer, magnetometer etc. while we have these dedicated sensors each one for a specific purpose, there is a lot that can be learned through tracking the variation in the vocals of a person that doesn’t require any sensor, apparently. That’s right parents! There is an app that, though in its preliminary stages, can, in the future, detect mood swings.
A team from Michigan University has been working on the app and with early tests and results from a sample of patients, it showed the potential for mood swings monitoring while protecting individual’s privacy.
Why Is It Good News For Parents?
Teen phase is usually accompanied by mood swings and though parents are able to know that there is something wrong, they always attribute it to their hormones. However, bipolar is very common amongst people ages between 15 and 30 and it’s never a good idea to take teen mood swings lightly. With an app telling you all that, it should really be a relief for parents, whether their kids are bipolar or it just the hormones.
How It Works?
The app can be installed onto any smartphone, which runs in the background, while monitors voice patterns of the patients for any calls that are made. The computer analyzes characteristics of the voice for each conversation then.
The app will only record the patient’s side so to protect the privacy of others. Those recorded calls are encrypted and even kept off limits from the research team, who are only able to access the computer analysis, which is stored on secure servers.
There are also standardized mood assessments conducted weekly by a trained clinician. The results are then used to correlate a speech’s acoustic features with a mood state.
Results So Far
The six patients who have been used for the examination purpose were already diagnosed with bipolar and the software has been using their responses as a benchmark. Results are promising but the app still requires a lot of development.
A Silver Lining in the Dark Cloud
Developments like these show us that there is still hope within the smart technology race that’s taking our kids nowhere towards good. Monitoring is important, whether it’s health or other aspects of a teen’s life. It ensures a child’s safety.
Governments also need to take more initiatives to promote the research and development of these kinds of apps. It’s only then we can secure our children’s future.