Notes

“Your Phone Knows If You’re Depressed”: Highlights

Highlights of Mandy Oaklander, “Your Phone Knows If You’re Depressed,” Time.

“We found that the more time people spend on their phones, the more likely they are to be more depressed,” says David Mohr, one of the authors of the study and director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. The researchers also found that spending lots of time at home was linked to depression — and that phone data like this could predict with 87% accuracy whether someone had symptoms of depression. …

Phone data were even better than the daily questions the users answered to predict depression test results. …

Depressed people, too, spent an average of 68 minutes using their phones each day, while people without depression only spent about 17 minutes on their phones. … “One of the things we see when people are depressed is that people tend to start avoiding tasks or things they have to do, particularly when they’re uncomfortable,” Mohr explains. “Using the phone, going in and using an app, is kind of a distraction.” …