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by
Helen Smith

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March 2, 2012 - 4:14 am

I see that there are now mental health apps to help people with their mental health (via Instapundit):

Northwestern University researchers recently launched Mobilyze, an app that tracks users’ behavior patterns and moods to identify states that trigger depression before it happens. The app gathers data from more than 40 sensors including GPS, accelerometer, and Wi-Fi, which it uses to figure out the user’s activity level and location. This data, combined with information the users supply about their mood and social context, identifies situations in which people are likely to become depressed and reminds them to take action that might prevent it, such as going outside or visiting friends. Alternatively, when users are doing well and adhering to their treatment goals, the app offers positive reinforcement in the form of text messages or email kudos.

The apps can help with everything from conquering public speaking to calming veterans with PTSD. How well do they work? I guess we will see at time goes on. I think for some depressed or mentally ill people, contact with a real person is important, but that is not always possible. Is there anything technology can’t do?

Helen Smith is a psychologist specializing in forensic issues in Knoxville, Tennessee, and blogs at Dr. Helen.

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