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apple: Apple iPhones may soon be able to detect whether or not you suffer from depression, anxiety – Times of India

September 21, 2021

Apple is reportedly focusing on creating tools and enabling AI-driven software to help track their mental health. As per a report by The Wall Street Journal, Apple thinks that the iPhone already has got enough hardware capabilities and data on physical activities, sleep records and other health data to find out whether or not the user is suffering from depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline.
Apart from detecting clues of depression, Apple is said to be “working on technology to help diagnose depression and cognitive decline.” Apple will be using the data that is already available with iPhone users and will consider details like typing speeds, typos, walk, respiration rate among others to get digital clues of depression.
“The data that may be used includes analysis of participants’ facial expressions, how they speak, the pace and frequency of their walks, sleep patterns, and heart and respiration rates. They may also measure the speed of their typing, frequency of their typos and content of what they type, among other data points,” as per the report by The Wall Street Journal.
Apple has partnered with the University of California for researching the technology along with pharmaceutical company Biogen. “Seabreeze is Apple’s code name for the UCLA project and “Pi” is the code name for the Biogen project,” as per the report.
Apple is also considering privacy of crucial personal health data of users and is said to not upload them to its servers. There’s no official timeline for the release of these tools yet.
“Even though the effort is at an early stage, top Apple executives are excited about the possibility. Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams, who oversees Apple’s health unit, has spoken enthusiastically to employees about the company’s potential to address surging rates of depression and anxiety as well as other brain disorders, according to people who have heard him talk about the efforts,” the report by The Wall Street Journal added.

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