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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.
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Funxtion, the leading B2B digital fitness content SaaS platform company, and CycleMasters, the best in direct-to-consumer indoor virtual cycling experiences, are joining forces to help gym operators elevate their member experience.
The internationally-recognised sporting goods exhibition Sports and Fitness Taiwan (TaiSPO) will return on 22-25 March 2023. The event will be held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2 (TaiNEX 2) and feature a full range of sporting goods, fitness equipment, sports technology, and workout services for all ages.
Pyramids Centre enhanced thanks to Technogym, BH Live & Portsmouth City Council
Technogym
H Live has grown rapidly since 2010, operating leisure sites, sports and entertainment venues across Dorset, Hampshire and London. Read more
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Technogym offers a complete ecosystem of connected smart equipment, digital services, on-demand training experiences and ...
On demand
trade associations
Salt therapy products
Flooring
Funxtion, the leading B2B digital fitness content SaaS platform company, and CycleMasters, the best in direct-to-consumer indoor virtual cycling experiences, are joining forces to help gym operators elevate their member experience.
The internationally-recognised sporting goods exhibition Sports and Fitness Taiwan (TaiSPO) will return on 22-25 March 2023. The event will be held at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, Hall 2 (TaiNEX 2) and feature a full range of sporting goods, fitness equipment, sports technology, and workout services for all ages.
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Technogym offers a complete ecosystem of connected smart equipment, digital services, on-demand training experiences and ...
Pyramids Centre enhanced thanks to Technogym, BH Live & Portsmouth City Council
Technogym
H Live has grown rapidly since 2010, operating leisure sites, sports and entertainment venues across Dorset, Hampshire and London. Read more
Get Fit Tech
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On demand
trade associations
Salt therapy products
Flooring

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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

Into the fitaverse

Fitness is already among the top three markets in the metaverse, with new technology and partnerships driving real growth and consumer engagement that looks likely to spill over into health clubs, gyms and studios
Fit Tech people

Ali Jawad

Paralympic powerlifter and founder, Accessercise
Users can easily identify which facilities in the UK are accessible to the disabled community
Fit Tech people

Hannes Sjöblad

MD, DSruptive
We want to give our users an implantable tool that allows them to collect their health data at any time and in any setting
Fit Tech people

Jamie Buck

Co-founder, Active in Time
We created a solution called AiT Voice, which turns digital data into a spoken audio timetable that connects to phone systems
Profile

Fahad Alhagbani: reinventing fitness

Alexa can help you book classes, check trainers’ bios and schedules, find out opening times, and a host of other information
Opinion

Building on the blockchain

For small sports teams looking to compete with giants, blockchain can be a secret weapon explains Lars Rensing, CEO of Protokol
Innovation

Bold move

We ended up raising US$7m in venture capital from incredible investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, Primetime Partners, and GingerBread Capital
App analysis

Check your form

Sency’s motion analysis technology is allowing users to check their technique as they exercise. Co-founder and CEO Gal Rotman explains how
Profile

New reality

Sam Cole, CEO of FitXR, talks to Fit Tech about taking digital workouts to the next level, with an immersive, virtual reality fitness club
Profile

Sohail Rashid

My vision was to create a platform that could improve the sport for lifters at all levels and attract more people, similar to how Strava, Peloton and Zwift have in other sports
Ageing

Reverse Ageing

Many apps help people track their health, but Humanity founders Peter Ward and Michael Geer have put the focus on ageing, to help users to see the direct repercussions of their habits. They talk to Steph Eaves
App analysis

Going hybrid

Workout Anytime created its app in partnership with Virtuagym. Workout Anytime’s Greg Maurer and Virtuagym’s Hugo Braam explain the process behind its creation
Research

Physical activity monitors boost activity levels

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have conducted a meta analysis of all relevant research and found that the body of evidence shows an impact
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
Fit Tech 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
Fit Tech People

Adam Zeitsiff

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