If there’s any good that can come from our obsession with technology, it is the capacity to treat the most intractable of all medical problems: schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress. At least, that’s what writer Rachel Metz learned from an interview with the founders of Mindstrong Health.
According to its developers, Mindstrong app monitors the way a person types, taps, and scrolls in order to assess a person’s mental health. For example, the app can identify whether a person is having a relapse of depression. Mindstrong monitors not only what a person does on their phone, it also monitors how each activity is done, and alerts care managers to check in with their patients even before a bout of depression, or other mental illness ensues.
The app is currently being used by individuals who are seriously ill and are at risk of relapse. Its goal is to spot problems before they start, hence enabling care providers to become proactive in the treatments they will develop.
Why It Matters
As more suicides are due to mental health issues, anything that can help address mental concerns will make a big difference. And because everyone has a smartphone, it will become easier to address mental concerns even before they cause major disruptions in the lives of people.
But again, as with any technology, an app like this will take away some of our human capacities. For example, if we will rely on technology to signal if we are depressed, then there might come a time when we can no longer self-assess our own emotions. Of course, there is also the issue of data privacy [see Technology and Relationships: What’s The Connection?], and how data collected will be utilized.
For us, Mindstrong is an important app because it can help people with mental health issues self-assess. But if you have the capacity to do this on your own, we still suggest that you skip the app. It is not, after all, made simply to entertain the curious.
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