Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Listening to bipolar disorder: Smartphone app detects mood swings via voice analysis

08.05.2014

Subtle changes could act as early warning of need for care, U-M research suggests

A smartphone app that monitors subtle qualities of a person's voice during everyday phone conversations shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder, a University of Michigan team reports.

While the app still needs much testing before widespread use, early results from a small group of patients show its potential to monitor moods while protecting privacy.

The researchers hope the app will eventually give people with bipolar disorder and their health care teams an early warning of the changing moods that give the condition its name. The technology could also help people with other conditions.

More patients, all taking part in the study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and facilitated by the Prechter Bipolar Research Fund at the U-M Depression Center, have already started to use the app on study-provided smartphones. As more patients volunteer, the team will continue to test and improve the technology.

The U-M team, led by computer scientists Zahi Karam, Ph.D. and Emily Mower Provost, Ph.D., and psychiatrist Melvin McInnis, M.D., presented its first findings today at the International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing in Italy, and published details simultaneously in the conference proceedings.

They call the project PRIORI, because they hope it will yield a biological marker to prioritize bipolar disorder care to those who need it most urgently to stabilize their moods – especially in regions of the world with scarce mental health services. Bipolar disorder affects tens of millions of people worldwide, and can have devastating effects including suicide.

But first, based on these encouraging findings, the technology and algorithms will be developed via research involving 60 American patients who receive treatment from U-M teams at the nation's first center devoted to depression and related disorders.

"These pilot study results give us preliminary proof of the concept that we can detect mood states in regular phone calls by analyzing broad features and properties of speech, without violating the privacy of those conversations," says Karam, a postdoctoral fellow and specialist in machine learning and speech analysis. "As we collect more data the model will become better, and our ultimate goal is to be able to anticipate swings, so that it may be possible to intervene early."

Adds McInnis, a bipolar specialist, "This is tremendously exciting not only as a technical achievement, but also as an illustration of what the marriage of mental health research, engineering and innovative research funding can make possible."

He adds, "The ability to predict mood changes with sufficient advance time to intervene would be an enormously valuable biomarker for bipolar disorder."

He notes that the initial seed funding for the voice technology research came from the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research. The ready source of patient-volunteers came from a Prechter Fund-supported registry, and the new early results were made possible by NIMH funding.

The research team hails from the Department of Psychiatry at the U-M Medical School and the Division of Computer Science and Engineering in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the U-M College of Engineering. It includes Satinder Singh, Ph.D. an artificial intelligence and machine learning expert.

How it works

The app runs in the background on an ordinary smartphone, and automatically monitors the patients' voice patterns during any calls made as well as during weekly conversations with a member of the patient's care team. The computer program analyzes many characteristics of the sounds – and silences – of each conversation.

Only the patient's side of everyday phone calls is recorded – and the recordings themselves are encrypted and kept off-limits to the research team. They can see only the results of computer analysis of the recordings, which are stored in secure servers that comply with patient privacy laws.

Standardized weekly mood assessments with a trained clinician provide a benchmark for the patient's mood, and are used to correlate the acoustic features of speech with their mood state.

Because other mental health conditions also cause changes in a person's voice, the same technology framework developed for bipolar disorder could prove useful in everything from schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder to Parkinson's disease, the researchers say.

Results so far

The first six patients all have a rapid-cycling form of Type 1 bipolar disorder and a history of being prone to frequent depressive and manic episodes. The researchers showed that their analysis of voice characteristics from everyday conversations could detect elevated and depressed moods.

The detection of mood states will improve over time as the software gets trained based on more conversations and data from more patients.

The researchers study patients as they experience all aspects of bipolar disorder mood changes, from mild depressions and hypomania (mild mania) to full-blown depressed and manic states. Over time, they hope to develop software that will learn to detect the changes that precede the transitions to each of these states. They also need to develop and explore strategies for notifying the app user and care providers about mood changes, so that appropriate intervention can take place.

The app currently runs on Android operating system phones, and complies with laws about recording conversations because only one side of the conversation actually gets recorded. The University of Michigan has applied for patent protection for the intellectual property involved.

###

Prechter project manager Gloria Harrington, MSW, social worked Jennifer Montgomery, MSW, and research technician Christopher Archer, B.S. also worked on the project.

To be eligible for the smartphone app study, patients must first enroll in the Prechter Fund-sponsored long-term study of bipolar disorder, which accepts adults with and without bipolar disorder. More information and contact information to sign up: http://umhealth.me/prechterbp (study number HUM00000606). For more about the Prechter Fund, visit http://prechterfund.org/

Funding: National Institute of Mental Health, MH100404

Kara Gavin | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu

Further reports about: Engineering Listening Smartphone bipolar characteristics conversation disorder

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>