Shortly after launching iOS 15 for the world of Apple users to upgrade to, the tech giant is reportedly launching a new feature that will detect if its user has symptoms of depression, anxiety, or cognitive decline from just their iPhones. Wait, what?
Yes, you read that right. According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is working with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and Biogen to see if sensitive data like facial expressions, typing metrics could signal mental-health concerns.
But how though? They will utilize sensor data such as mobility, physical activity, sleep patterns, and typing behavior to detect digital signals pointing to the aforementioned mental health issues. Other elements such as facial expression analysis and heart/respiration rates will also be used to process the data.
It should be noted, however, that mental health diagnoses require a series of clinically approved tests and consultation from a professional. In short, you shouldn’t self-diagnose and buy medication just because your iPhone told you to do.
Well, to be fair, this feature could be as simple as detecting the early signs of these issues—or even the possible symptoms that may raise alarm. When should the world expect the feature to roll out? It’s too early to tell. The project is still at its early stages, so it may take a few years before it comes to fruition.
So if you’re feeling down in the dumps, don’t count on your iPhone to detect signs of depression just yet. It’s still recommended to go to a licensed professional. Depression is a serious matter, and you shouldn’t just brush it off or ignore the signs. Apple has yet to issue an official statement about the feature though.
Art Daniella Sison