Voice-Tracking App Can Help Bipolar Sufferers Manage Their Moods
Technology to help people stay on top of their chronic conditions.
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with Bipolar disorder is not knowing when your mood with suddenly switch from one extreme to the other. To try and offer people a way of staying one step ahead, a team from the University of Michigan’s Depression Center have developed an experimental new smartphone app called PRIORI. The app is able to monitor a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations in order to detect early signs of mood changes.
The app runs in the background on any ordinary smartphone, and automatically monitors a patient’s voice when they make a call. Specialized software then analyzes various characteristics of what what was said, and equally as important, what wasn’t said. To maintain privacy, only the patient’s side of the conversation is recorded, and researchers can only the results of computer analysis. This data is then compared with weekly mood assessments carried out by a trained clinician that help to provide a benchmark, and are used to correlate the acoustic features of speech with their mood state.