Apple Watch measures signs of depression
March 14, 2017
A specially designed app on an Apple Watch is being used to monitor and assess cognitive functions in patients with depression. The pilot is a result of collaboration between Takeda Pharmaceuticals in Illinois and UK-based Cognition Kit
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting an estimated 350 million people of all ages. Cognitive problems are common in major depression and may be under recognised by both patients and clinicians. Cognitive testing provides the opportunity to detect and understand the pattern of cognitive symptoms in patients with MDD.
The app is designed as a step forward in assessing those symptoms, advancing patient assessment and monitoring outside of the lab and into everyday life to help increase patient engagement and potential treatment.
“By combining wearable technology with world leading neuroscience, we’ve created an app that collects real-time passive and active high-frequency mental health data,” said Jenny Barnett from Cognition Kit. “Being able to access data regularly from daily life can help clinical decision making. Healthcare professionals can obtain patient data and increase patient engagement in their treatment.”
The study will involve 30 participants, aged 18 to 65 with a clinical diagnosis of mild to moderate depression who have been prescribed an antidepressant for MDD. The study aims to evaluate feasibility and compliance and to understand how measures of mood and cognition on wearable technology compare with more traditional neuropsychological testing and patient reported assessments. The output of the study is expected before the middle of this year.
The collaboration is part of a shared commitment between Takeda and Cognition Kit to improve mental health worldwide through research and innovation.
“Takeda is committed to the mental health community,” said Nicole Mowad-Nassar, vice president at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. “This collaboration is part of our strategy to embrace new technology to better understand the patient experience and assist healthcare professionals in creating improved patient care pathways.”
This collaboration is the first contract signed by Cognition Kit, a joint venture between Cambridge Cognition and London-based Ctrl Group, since launching its wearable cognitive technology last year, with interest already gained from a number of commercial partners.