Creepy or Cool? Your Phone Knows When You’re Depressed

Your Smartphone Knows You're Depressed

Excerpt from this article:

Smartphones can feel your pain—literally.

A new study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine set out to explore whether an individual’s smartphone habits could be used to predict whether or not they were depressed. The results, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research Wednesday, were staggering.

Measuring behavioral markers for depression through GPS and usage sensors, researchers were able to predict with 86 percent accuracy whether or not the individual was depressed.

The same study, however, showed that those who used their phones the most often might have been trying to improve their own mood. “Incessant checking of emails, sending texts, tweeting, and surfing the web may act as pacifiers for the unstable individual distracting him or herself from the worries of the day,” said the researchers. If unhappy people are already intimately connected to their phones—and trying to find a solution—then they may be the most likely to be open to using it as a diagnostic tool.

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