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Feeling down? Scientists are working on a mobile phone that notices when you’re depressed and intervenes with suggestions such as reaching out to friends.

The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine center has been developing various digital technologies to treat depression and other mood disorders. The move is a part of an effort to give more immediate assistance to those in mental need and provide therapy access to a larger population.


The phone called Mobilyze! is still in the works, but a small trial run has indicated that it is effective in reducing signs of depression. The device is able to read your mood thanks to sensor data that interprets your location, activity level (via an accelerometer), social context and mood, ultimately detecting signs of depression. The phone learns your typical lifestyle patterns, and notices if you are making calls and getting emails. If it thinks you are creating an isolating environment, it will suggest that you call or see friends.

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