Detection of behavior change in people with depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is the most common mental health disorder and remains a leading cause of disability and lost productivity with huge costs for society. MDD has high rates of relapse and recurrence, and it has strong correlations with feelings of low social support and disrupted sleep. However, MDD is also commonly misdiagnosed by primary care providers, which leads to delayed treatment and unnecessary suffering. Changes in technology now make it possible to cheaply and effectively monitor social and sleep behaviors, offering the potential of early detection of the onset of MDD. We report on the design of Big Black Dog, a smartphone-based system for gathering data about social and sleep behaviors. We also report on the results of a pilot evaluation to understand the feasibility of gathering and using data from smartphones for inferring the onset of depression.

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