Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a mobile app for individuals with bipolar disorder. By monitoring subtle changes in the voices of users, the application can detect early signs of mood alterations requiring immediate medical attention.
The application picks up subtle changes in the person’s voice suggestive of mood instability, so patients can be treated promptly before they spiral out of control.Dubbed PRIORI, the project picks up subtle changes in the person’s voice suggestive of mood instability, so patients can be treated promptly before they spiral out of control.
The app was designed to run in the background, sending encrypted speech pattern data to a central computer that analyzes voice inflections and pacing.
Psychiatrist Melvin McInnis, part of the PRIORI team, says it’s best to pick up early signs of mania since patients who advance to a full blown manic episode often refuse treatment.
The app could make it easier for people in developing countries to get treatment quickly.With billions of people now using mobile phones, McInnis believes the app could make it easier for people in developing countries to get treatment quickly.
According to the World Health Organization, bipolar disorder is the sixth leading cause of disability worldwide. But experts say there’s a shortage of psychiatrists and mental health workers.
Researchers unveiled the application at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing meeting in Italy.