Australia’s Medibio has launched a new app that integrates with the Apple Watch to collect biometrics such as heart rate for use in mental health diagnosis and treatment, with the aim of moving psychiatry away from the subjective.
“The problem with psychiatry is that it is the one discipline in medicine that has minimal quantitative data as part of diagnostic and therapeutic regime,” Dr Franklyn Prendergast, former director of research, Board of Trustees and Governors at Mayo Clinic and Medibio non-executive board member, said in a statement.
“The reliance on subjective judgment is a serious deficiency.”
In order to capture the biometric information the user will activate a command, basically the same as they would for starting a workout session. Typically the data is collected over a 24-hour period.
After the user’s biometric data is captured, it is sent and stored in Apple Health Kit. Here, Medibio processes the data through a series of algorithms. The user will then get a biometric reading that aims to give insights into their mental health, such as the periods of the day that are causing a lot of stress or their sleeping habits.
Eventually the Sydney and US-based company said it plans to roll out a clinical product that will give providers the chance to see how patients are responding to care plans. The goal is for clinicians to be able to better diagnose and monitor patients, according to the company.
The app is compatible with Apple Watch Series 1, Apple Watch Series 2, and Apple Watch Series 3. Currently it is on the market through the company’s cooperate health offerings but Medibio said the app will be commercially available starting in mid 2018.
“The advent of objectively measurable mental health suddenly creates an obligation to make measurement of mental health available to everyone,” Jack Cosentino, CEO of Medibio, said in a statement.
“It is not just our company mission but it is our obligation to society and to the world at-large to make our technology accessible to people everywhere.”
Originally published on MobiHealthNews, a sister publication of HITNA.