New smartphone app monitors students’ mental health

Posted on September 29, 2014

Dartmouth researchers have built an Android app that monitored readings from smartphone sensors. The app was used to assess students’ mental health (depression, loneliness, stress), academic performance (grades across all their classes, term GPA, and cumulative GPA) and behavioral trends (how stress, sleep, visits to the gym, etc., change in response to college workload — assignments, midterms, finals — as the term progresses).

The app automatically measured the following behaviors 24/7 without any user interaction: sleep duration, the number, and duration of conversations per day, physical activity (walking, sitting, running, standing), where users were located and how long they stayed there (i.e., dorm, class, party, gym), stress level, how good they felt about themselves, eating habits, and more.

The researchers used a number of well known pre- and post-mental health surveys and spring and cumulative GPAs for evaluation of mental health and academic performance, respectively.

Among the results:

• your phone automatically knows if you are depressed, stressed, or lonely;
• the phone sensor data can predict student GPA;
• coupled with intervention software, students can track their mental health and academic performance indicators with the goal of improving both;
• the app (and its methods) are applicable to non-student groups, such as workplace employees, with the goal of improving productivity or radically reducing stress — your phone will know how productive you are on a daily basis.

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Category(s):Mental Health in Asia

Source material from Psych Central

Mental Health News