Technology to track your mental state

New apps and wearable devices are being developed to track psychological health, and experts say that such “mood forecasting” technology could help doctors and friends know when a person is in mental distress.

A February 19, 2019 NBC News article outlined some of the capabilities of the new technology. Wearable devices with sensors can help track mood through emotional biomarkers such as pulse rate or perspiration, both of which increase when people are stressed. Smartphones can provide information about people’s mental states too. The pace at which people text, call, and post on social media are markers of what is called the “digital phenotype.”

Some experts think that apps and wearables could help prevent suicide. Others worry about the transmission of intimate personal data. And Jukka-Pekka Onnela, associate professor of biostatistics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that more research is needed to tell the difference between a normal digital phenotype and one that’s cause for concern.

Read the NBC News article: Mood-forecasting tech could help stop bad moods even before they strike