Mental Health Wearables – Medgizmo Overview
Wearable technology is currently being used to provide assistance to the people with mental health issues, but as well to assist in research how to cope with them. According to available research data, there are more than 3000 applications targeting mental health on the market. Here is the latest update from MedGizmo
Wearables for mental disorders are falling into the e-mental health tools (e-MH) category that is lately being introduced into psychological practice. Actually, this is a part of e-psychology - a form of psychological intervention delivered via information and communication technology
As Professor Helen Christensen MAPS, Executive Director, Black Dog Institute and Professor of Mental Health, University of New South Wales points out:
“The Internet is a place where we, as psychologists, can quickly learn about new developments in our area, source research papers, publish research, connect with our colleagues and clients, undertake online training, manage accounts, and keep records. For those who use our services, we can also learn about useful apps or websites that offer online assessments, psychoeducation, self-help and supplementary therapies.”
Some of the medical professional are already envisioning a 2030 Virtual Mental Health Community, where gadgets will be a part of everyday interactions between the people.
In broad view e-mental health is concerned with three major areas:
- Mobile Health – with basic useage of smartphone applications (examples are HealthMapper and QSense)
- Wearables (e.g. "Mindful" wearables like Muse )
- Virtual reality therapy (examples are Oculus Rift and the PHOBOS)
Scott Monteith analyses in detail the use of wearables for Psychiatry applications, and outlines these major areas of use:
- Wearables for speech analysis for mental health monitor of emotion and stress
- Sensors for multiple data analysis, including speech, activity, sleep, weight, movement, continuous monitoring for depression, PTSD
- Headband system with embedded electrodes for EEG and heart rate variability to monitor mental stress level
- Ingestible sensor in tablets to monitor medication adherence in schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
- Wearable sock with sensor of skin conductance to monitor electrodermal activity (sweat secretion) for patients with bipolar disorder
- Wearable vest with integrated sensors to monitor motor activity levels, using accelerometers and ECG; define activity patterns in mania and schizophrenia
This slide classifying Mental Health wearable Applications is produced by Craig DeLarge, MBA, CPC, Head of Digital Acceleration, Emerging Markets at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd.
A very comprehensive report on wearables is provided by The Fortune in this paper: Can Electric ‘Brain Training’ Devices Make You Smarter?
The gadgets are advancing—faster than the evidence in their favor.
If there were a system or a product that could make you, say, 10% smarter, you’d buy it in a second, right? That’s been the promise of the “brain training” field, which has grown to a $1.3 billion market through products like Lumosity, a series of online word games and mind twisters that has amassed 70 million users. And that’s just one of many options. There’s “neuroleadership” coaching, $15,000 intensive brain-training retreats, even coffee shops promising cognitive-enhancing joe.
Now, faster than the current coursing through your cerebellum, the field is burgeoning into what could be called Brain Training 2.0. The new generation consists of devices that promise to monitor or stimulate your brain to make you calmer, more focused—perhaps even smarter. Priced from $79 to $595, these wearable gadgets—with names like Melon, Emotiv Insight, Melomind, iFocusBand, and Narbis—aim to gauge your cerebral activity using electroencephalography (EEG) and then redirect your focus. Other companies, such as Thync, Fisher Wallace Laboratories, and Halo Neuroscience, use mild electric pulses that purportedly activate certain connections in your brain. Some—such as Halo, backed by Andreessen Horowitz, and Thync, whose lead investor is Khosla Ventures—even have the blessing of top venture capitalists.
Ready the full paper HERE
Wearable Technologies has a good post: Wearables For Mental Health that talks about
Hexoskin undershirt that records physiological data and translates it into a usable interface – allowing user to know more in order to live better.
Beyond Verbal offers a new technology that can decode communication and emotions. This way you can know what someone is actually saying without them saying it.
PIP stress management device measures Electro Dermal Activity (EDA), using the electrical changes at the surface of the skin to provide a robust, scientifically established indicator of an individual’s stress response.
Q sensor - - a stress detecting wristable - measures electricity conducted through the skin – which can detect what emotions you are feeling (based on valence).
Read the full story HERE
Another interesting device is
BrainBit is a New York City and Silicon Valley based technology company pioneering brain activity monitoring using EEG (Electroencephalogram) solutions. BrainBit’s wireless EEG headband allows users to optimize their brain performance and monitor their cognitive health and wellness. BrainBit records brainwaves and interprets them into meaningful data that users can understand.
Download BrainBit Executive Summary
Image by MedGizmo