Could Cellphone Use Determine Whether You’re Depressed?

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Amy Legate-Wolfe, CTV NEWS

 

(CTV News) — Smartphones have been used to track everything from the steps you take to the food you eat. Now, a small study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Illinois suggests cellphones might also be able to tell whether you’re depressed.

The study released on Wednesday in the Journal of Medical Internet Research used information on the mobile usage and GPS locations of 28 participants for two weeks who had an average age of 29 years.

The 20 females and eight males performed a patient health questionnaire that measures depression at the beginning of the study, and also downloaded the Purple Robot app which collected their information.

The results showed that half of the participants had depressive symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Researchers found that those showing symptoms spent an average of 68 minutes on their phones, while those without symptoms would spend about 17 minutes.

 

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