(PresidentialInsider.com)- According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is reportedly working on iPhone technology to reliably detect and diagnose depression as well as cognitive decline.
Quick! Someone get Joe Biden an iPhone!
Apple is developing this technology in partnership with researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the pharmaceutical company Biogen.
The technology, only in its early stages of development, is intended to collect data on the iPhone users’ mobility and sleep patterns, physical activity, and other behaviors. Though researchers still aren’t sure whether than can create the algorithms necessary to reliably detect the mental state of users.
Perhaps if the user throws the iPhone against a brick wall, that would help gauge his mental state.
Now, according to documents reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Apple does acknowledge that such technology will raise potential privacy concerns. So Apple plans to only scan user data on-device, rather than send the information back to Apple’s servers.
Apple got a bit of blowback last month over its privacy practices after it unveiled a planned update to the iPhone operating system that would perform on-device scans of images uploaded to iCloud as a way to monitor for child pornography.
In August 2020, UCLA launched a three-year study using information collected from the iPhones and Apple Watches of study participants to identify and understand depression, ostensibly to create new treatments. The study uses anonymized data to examine the connection between participants’ behaviors on their devices and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Not to be outdone, in January 2021, Biogen announced its partnership with Apple to conduct an investigation into what possible role Apple Watch and iPhone could play in monitoring cognitive performance as well as screening for any decline in cognitive health — including mild cognitive impairment.
The Biogen/Apple project aims to identify “digital biomarkers” that could indicate cognitive performance.
Biogen is also currently developing a new drug to combat the symptoms of depression. The Phase 3 trials into the drug were completed in June.