Wearable devices abound that track data to aid fitness and sports enthusiasts. Biometric sensors in watches, headbands, shoes, bracelets, and even clothing can monitor physiological indicators significant to people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and arrhythmia. Now wearable tech applications for mental health are beginning to show up in a wide range of formats and roles. We’ve written about diverse tech such as the Fisher Wallace Stimulator that increases the brain’s production of serotonin and the Thync Relax stimulator that helps wearers relax and sleep.
Medibio, a Sydney, Australia-based company that assesses objective data to measure mental health, recently introduced Medibio Inform which is a mobile app that works with data from Fitbit and Garmin devices that include heart rate monitors. Medibio Inform allows wearers to check their mental health based on a combination of biometric measurements and traditional assessments. One of the key functions of the app is screening for and managing depression. The app uses sleep, activity, and heart rate data with Medibio’s platform and algorithms to monitor the user. The app also sends users reports on their state of health each day. Currently, the only Fitbit users with access to the app are employees who enroll in a Mental Health Check-In program sponsored by their employers.
Correlations between biometric measurements and mental health issues have promising potential, particularly with conditions that come and go and often can sneak up on people. Medibio Inform is only as valuable as its algorithms. With the increased use of machine learning to process massive amounts of data to discover associations and patterns, wearables may play a major role in mental health monitoring.