Tuesday, August 6, 2013

App Review: Bipolar disorder therapy with an App, a small revolution.

Bipolar disorder can create severe handicaps and impacts in a patient life.  Since bipolar disorder affects many rhythms like sleep, activity level, thought process or mood regulation, the traditional therapy works on regulating life on a daily basis.  Having a healthy portion of social activity, physical activity, sleep, or eating regularly are some of the ways to cope with bipolar disorder. Improving the regularity of rhythms has been a recognize tool, out of many, to treat bipolar disorder. Now comes the Moodrhythm app which is a traditional bipolar therapy tool but with some real novel advantages.  

The usual problem with daily paper diary of activity is that most of the time it will be incomplete. Forgotten here or there, to busy to do it, whatever the reason, the data recover from it will only be partial.  Using an app to input the data would be more easy since it's more mobile then a paper diary.  Still, patient could forget to enter the information in the app.  That's where Moodrhythm makes a difference.  It utilizes the on-board sensors of a phone to gather information on the patient's activity level . The sensors are: microphone, light sensors and accelerometer.  It helps to monitor sleep, mood, physical and social levels. To this, will be added the traditional daily diary.  Standard activities are built in to it, but you can add your own.  

Has security goes, the app doesn't record or listen in conversations.  It actually recognize variations in pitch, volume, speaking rate and other characteristics to measure emotional states level of the patient.  The accelerometer and light sensor combined will give information on sleep, rest or physical activity.  All that data can then be put to use for therapy by a mental health professional.  This app has been developed by Cornell University.  It's inventors have won the prestigious $100,000 Heritage Open mHealth Challenge for it.  Available on android and iPhone for free.  It was impossible to install on our android phones.  Certain bugs are in need of fixing.

For more information visit the Moodrhythm web site [here]

Health Psychologist / Neuropsychologist
Follow on Twitter @Morettini_J and @PsychMobiletTech

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