It’s common to hear complaints about our near-constant connection to our smart phones, but UConn researchers believe they can use the ubiquity of these devices to better screen for depression.
Depression is an affliction that affects 350 million people worldwide, and one of the most crucial issues for mental health workers is detecting it in patients in its early stages. Bing Wang, associate professor of computer science and engineering, says smartphones have the potential to serve as “human sensors” by monitoring users in real time for symptoms of depression.
Wang, who joined the School of Engineering in 2005, has developed a mobile phone app, LifeRhythm, which gathers data from various sensors on the phone – location, motion, microphone, among them. The project is funded with a $718,815 grant from the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and Engineering. She’s working on it with Jinbo Bi and Alexander Russell in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at UConn, Dr. Jayesh Kamath, associate professor of psychiatry and immunology at UConn Health, and Nasos Bamis, a consultant to this project.
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