On November 8 and 9, 2018, the Depression Grand Challenge (DGC) hosted collaborators from the University of Oulu. Denzil Ferreira and his team from Oulu’s Center for Ubiquitous Computing – Dr. Aku Visuri, Dr. Yuuki Nishiyama, and Kennedy Asare – conferred with DGC members to formalize plans for using their smartphone-based behavior tracking platform in ongoing DGC research. These applications under development will serve a next-generation set of tools leveraging smartphones to better diagnose and monitor depression symptoms; we anticipate incorporating them in DGC research studies early next year.
Smartphone-Based Apps as a Method of Depression Treatment
Mobile smartphones are ubiquitous in today’s society, making smartphone apps an optimal tool to deliver treatment and track symptom changes. The DGC team is focused on two areas of smartphone app development: (1) tracking and monitoring objective measures that indicate early signs for or actual symptoms of depression; and (2) evidence and internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy for those with low to moderate levels of depression and anxiety.
The Center for Ubiquitous Computing is part of a UCLA international consortium of researchers who are working together to better treat and monitor individuals with depression using app technology. Other members of this international dream team include researchers from University of Washington, University of Pennsylvania, and Microsoft Research. Members of the group convened earlier in 2018 in person for a symposium on personal sensing technologies.