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Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
features

Research: Monitoring mental health

New technology uses advanced machine learning to monitor patients’ mental health between visits to their medical providers

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 2

Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a smart-device based electronic platform to help patients manage their mental health between appointments. The technology continuously monitors the patient’s state of hyperarousal, which is one of the signs of psychological distress.

The platform can read facial cues, analyse voice patterns and integrate readings from built-in vital signs sensors on smartwatches to determine if a patient is feeling anxious or depressed.

The technology not only enables patients to better manage their mental health, it could also allow medical providers and counsellors to monitor how their patient is tracking.

Gap in services
Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, assistant professor in the Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, explained: “The platform was inspired by our previous work on monitoring hyperarousal events among combat veterans. We identified a twofold gap in providing mental healthcare: firstly, underutilisation of mental health services, potentially due to emotional numbness and stigma; and secondly, lack of monitoring capabilities in between therapeutic sessions. The platform is our contribution to address these gaps.”

Non-intrusive sensors in wearable technologies such as smartwatches are used together with advanced machine learning and data analytics techniques to detect patterns associated with mental health anomalies. In addition, novel technologies such as facial and voice sentiment analysis are utilised.

The platform provides a suite of therapeutic tools, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, community support, telecare, automated messages and location sharing.

Game changing technology
Results from initial testing of the technology suggest a high level of acceptance, adoption and compliance among users. There was also a high level of perceived accuracy for the detected events.

“I think this technology will be a game-changer,” said Dr Sasangohar, “since it not only raises mental health awareness and keeps users in the loop about their current state, but it also provides timely intervention to deal with acute issues, preventing them from becoming chronic.

“I firmly believe the future of mental health care belongs to self-management technologies. Technology can play a big role in feeding providers with key objective information related to mental health and by providing timely, discreet and on-demand therapeutic interventions.”

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
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Monitoring mental health

New technology uses advanced machine learning to monitor patients’ mental health between visits to their medical providers
people

Devi Mahadevia

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features

Research: Monitoring mental health

New technology uses advanced machine learning to monitor patients’ mental health between visits to their medical providers

Published in Fit Tech 2021 issue 2

Researchers at Texas A&M University have developed a smart-device based electronic platform to help patients manage their mental health between appointments. The technology continuously monitors the patient’s state of hyperarousal, which is one of the signs of psychological distress.

The platform can read facial cues, analyse voice patterns and integrate readings from built-in vital signs sensors on smartwatches to determine if a patient is feeling anxious or depressed.

The technology not only enables patients to better manage their mental health, it could also allow medical providers and counsellors to monitor how their patient is tracking.

Gap in services
Dr. Farzan Sasangohar, assistant professor in the Wm Michael Barnes ‘64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, explained: “The platform was inspired by our previous work on monitoring hyperarousal events among combat veterans. We identified a twofold gap in providing mental healthcare: firstly, underutilisation of mental health services, potentially due to emotional numbness and stigma; and secondly, lack of monitoring capabilities in between therapeutic sessions. The platform is our contribution to address these gaps.”

Non-intrusive sensors in wearable technologies such as smartwatches are used together with advanced machine learning and data analytics techniques to detect patterns associated with mental health anomalies. In addition, novel technologies such as facial and voice sentiment analysis are utilised.

The platform provides a suite of therapeutic tools, such as breathing exercises, mindfulness, community support, telecare, automated messages and location sharing.

Game changing technology
Results from initial testing of the technology suggest a high level of acceptance, adoption and compliance among users. There was also a high level of perceived accuracy for the detected events.

“I think this technology will be a game-changer,” said Dr Sasangohar, “since it not only raises mental health awareness and keeps users in the loop about their current state, but it also provides timely intervention to deal with acute issues, preventing them from becoming chronic.

“I firmly believe the future of mental health care belongs to self-management technologies. Technology can play a big role in feeding providers with key objective information related to mental health and by providing timely, discreet and on-demand therapeutic interventions.”

Sign up here to get Fit Tech's weekly ezine and every issue of Fit Tech magazine free on digital.
More features
Editor's letter

Two-way coaching

Content providers have been hugely active in the fit tech market since the start of the pandemic. We expect the industry to move on from delivering these services on a ‘broadcast-only’ basis as two-way coaching becomes the new USP
people

Laurent Petit

Co-founder, Active Giving
The future of sports and fitness are dependent on the climate. Our goal is to positively influence the future of our planet by instilling a global vision of wellbeing and a sense of collective action
people

Adam Zeitsiff

CEO, Intelivideo
We don’t just create the technology and bail – we support our clients’ ongoing hybridisation efforts
people

Anantharaman Pattabiraman

CEO and co-founder, Auro
When you’re undertaking fitness activities, unless you’re on a stationary bike, in most cases it’s not safe or necessary to be tied to a screen, especially a small screen
people

Mike Hansen

Managing partner, Endorphinz
We noticed a big gap in the market – customers needed better insights but also recommendations on what to do, whether that be customer acquisition, content creation, marketing and more
interview

Mathieu Letombe

The new feature ‘Vascular Age’ was developed by cardiologists to provide an easy-to-understand assessment of arterial health – just by stepping on the scale

Refining augmented reality

London boutique The Refinery has created an avatar-led digital fitness offering called ALFI, which utilises augmented reality (AR) to demonstrate movements. Zoe Bertali, one of the co-founders of the gym, tells us more

Jessica Ennis-Hill: founder of Jennis

Jessica Ennis-Hill is on a mission to close the gender data gap in health research. Her app, Jennis CycleMapping, is designed to help women understand their cycles and how to train during each different phase. Steph Eaves speaks to Ennis-Hill to find out exactly how it works

How usable is your product?

Your fit tech product might be a game changer, solving problems or creating new possibilities for clients, but none of this will matter if it’s not easy and enjoyable to use. Industrial designer Nick Chubb explains why usability is key, and the factors to consider when designing your new product

Put on your red light

Red light therapy promises a variety of benefits, including better recovery, skin rejuvenation and increased energy, but is it all too good to be true? Fit Tech spoke to Bryan Gohl and James Strong of Red Light Rising, and Wes Pfiffner of Joovv to find out more
interview

Kilian Saekel

With ROX Home, we’re now targeting families who want to work out at home but who are bored with traditional ways of home training

Adrian Hon

Zombies, Run! is one of the most enduring fitness apps, with half a million users getting active while engaging in ‘missions’ against the zombie apocalypse. Its co-creator spoke to Steph Eaves about the power of story

Digital community

Matt Stebbings of SLT Group talks about the creation of their Community Portal, a new platform that aims to help anyone to get active, whether that’s inside or outside of SLT’s facilities

Funxtion: A vital connection

NonStop Gym, Switzerland’s no frills gym chain, has appointed FunXtion to create its member training app

Monitoring mental health

New technology uses advanced machine learning to monitor patients’ mental health between visits to their medical providers
people

Devi Mahadevia

Facebook director of sports and fitness partnerships
With Facebook paid online events, publishers can charge viewers to attend a video livestream on their Facebook pages or a third party video service
people

Andy Etches

Founder and sports director, Rezzil
Rezzil was able to have an injured player learning his new manager's philosophy, positioning and playing style – all from a seated position
interview

Preston Lewis, Black Box VR

Game designers have figured out how to keep people unhealthily addicted to games. If only you could be the hero in a game that levelled up your life
More features
Les Mills International
Les Mills International