Computer Vision App Assists Mental Health Clinicians

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have been developing MultiSense technologies to automatically sense human non-verbal behaviors such as facial expressions, eye gaze, head gestures, and vocal non-verbal behaviors like the voice and its tenseness. The goal is to assist clinicians working with mental health patients with their diagnosis and treatments of mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, and autism. Louis-Philippe Morency, PhD and colleagues describe that one of the primary algorithms, from a computer-vision perspective, is facial landmark detection. It automatically identifies the position of 68 “landmarks” or key points on the face. These were defined over the years as being reliable to track over time. Examples are the eyebrow positions, contour of the mouth, the eye corners, and jaw contours. These are cornerstones for a later stage of analysis because knowing their current shapes really helps understand and recognize the facial expression. This is coupled with things like head-tilt and eye-gaze estimations. The goal of the software is not to diagnose depression, that’s always the job of the doctor. We’re building these algorithms as decision support tools for the clinicians so that they can do their assessments. But from an academic perspective, we do want to know how well these behavioral markers are correlating with the assessment of clinicians. We’ve done this work and seen around a 78% correlation. So it’s not 100%, but our data is significant. We’re definitely heading in the right direction!                Source: MedGadget...

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MIT Develops Temporary Skin Tattoo Interfaces

MIT Media Lab partnering with Microsoft Research, has unveiled DuoSkin, a project that uses temporary tattoos as connected interfaces that can be used in a variety of ways. DuoSkin, as described by MIT researchers, is a fabrication process that allows for the creation of customized functional devices that can be attached onto the skin of users. The project originated from the growing trend of metallic temporary tattoos, making DuoSkin a combination of existing fashion with useful functions in the connected world. Duoskin...

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Adaptive Text Messaging as an Adjunct to Clinical Care

A study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research described a study that was conducted in families with a preschool-aged child recently diagnosed as overweight or obese by their primary care provider. Parents were coached on skills to promote healthy lifestyle behaviors using cognitive behavior therapy. All of the skills were supported using tailored, adaptive text messaging. The novel feature of this program is that the parents helped to create messages that “spoke to them.” Using an automated software application messages were delivered based on desired content, timing, and frequency to support behavior change or skills practice at home. Results a significant increase in parental beliefs in their ability to engage in healthy lifestyles and self-reported healthy lifestyle behaviors. Furthermore, all parents reported the program as being useful, and indicated a desire to have their pediatric primary care incorporate the text messaging as an additional form of communication. JMIR Vol 4, No 1 (2016): Jan-Mar...

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Tracking Brainwaves for Fitness

Funded by Kickstarter, Emotiv Insight is a 5 channel, wireless headset that monitors brain wave activity and translates it into understandable data. The goal of EMOTIV INSIGHT according to the company is to allow you to optimize your brain fitness & performance, measure and monitor your own or your family’s cognitive health & wellbeing, and develop amazing new applications. The neuroheadset is the only device on the market to offer 5 EEG sensors and 2 reference sensors, which provides useful coverage of key sites around the cerebral cortex: frontal cortex (executive functions), parieto-temporal (auditory, spatial/co-ordination), and occipital (visual). This spatial resolution is crucial to getting high resolution EEG data that will allow you to receive more in depth information on your brain activity. Measurements: Performance: Insight measures and tracks your Attention, Focus, Engagement, Interest, Excitement, Affinity, Relaxation and Stress levels. Mental Commands: Insight interprets basic mental commands such as push, pull, levitate, rotate and even hard to visualize commands such as disappear. Facial Expressions: Insight detects facial expressions such as blink, wink, frown, surprise and smile. There is also a developer’s kit with fully specified API and drivers for application development Read more at Kickstarter...

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Rent Your Smartphone’s Lock Screen

How many times per hour do you look at your phone. What if you could get paid for looking at your phone? Locket is a new Android application that will pay you to put advertising on your lock screen. This free app puts ads for products, events, and coupons on the phone’s home screen, and allows the user to choose whether to engage with the ad, or ignore it and simply unlock their device as usual. Either way, you get paid. Each swipe earns one cent with a maximum of three cents per hour. Every friend you recruit to Locket earns $1 extra toward your app piggy bank. Once you’ve accrued a few bucks, the app allows you to cash out, apply the funds to a gift card, or even donate the money to a charity. You can earn $262.80 over the course of a year, without referrals, as long as you unlock your phone screen three times per hour, 24 hours a day. Advertisements are targeted to individual users based on geo-location data, their purchasing patterns, and mobile app usage. For now, the app is limited to eight brand partners, according to TechCrunch, but Locket will also run house ads to fill space. Locket has rejected advertisers hawking liquor and lingerie. The beta version is available in the Google Play store. Hopefully, there will be an iOS version. Source:...

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Tile: The World’s Lost and Found

Tile is a crowdfunded startup company that has a clever idea. They will sell you a small square tile and you can place it on any object that you may want to find – like on your key ring, bicycle, pocketbook, etc. You can locate it using an iOS device. The Tile app tells you how close your are or you can even have your tile give you an audible tone to locate it. What is quite interesting is that if you lost something, for example, your bicycle was stolen, you can potentially find it through the entire tile community near you. Others with tile, can relay the signal of the tile that you placed on your bike to your iOS device. Tile has almost 16,000 backers and reached 4,298% of its goal. The goal was $20,000 and with a few more days of left, it has reached a funding level of $859,562. You can pre-order tiles for $18.95 each. Read more...

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