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...

read more

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...

read more

World Health Organization Publishes mHealth Guidelines

The mHealth Technical Evidence Review Group of the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new mHealth research checklist for the reporting of studies involving mobile health interventions. The mHealth evidence reporting and assessment (mERA) checklist offers a standardized approach to reporting of mHealth studies that clearly defines the intervention (content), as well as the context in which the intervention was tested, and how it was done (technical features). The goal is to improve the quality of reporting & facilitate replication. BMJ. 2016 Mar 17;352:i1174....

read more

NIH hosting an mHealth Training Institute

As part of the annual mHealth Summit, this year NIH is offering an mHealth training institute. The event will be held Saturday, December 6, 2014 – Sunday, December 7, 2014. According to the website, “The mHealth Institute is designed to provide behavioral and social scientists tools to successfully add mobile health technologies to their research in a collaborative team environment with mentorship from leaders in the fields of engineering, medicine and the behavioral and social sciences.” mHealth Summit Training...

read more

Siri Remote

CarPlay by Apple is exciting but what if you are not in the market for a new car? There is now an alternative, Siri Remote. It is a Bluetooth device that contains a single button that you tap once and it patches you though your car’s hands-free function to iOS on your iPhone and activates Siri. It can be clipped onto the sun visor or dashboard. It is relatively inexpensive at $79. Sync once and no need to sync again, there is no on/off. With Siri, you can listen to and send texts, emails, social network updates, control music playback, make phone calls, schedule calendar events, input navigation queries. The only catch is that you need an internet connection to operate Siri. For some this could be a problem when on the move. Check it out at www.drivewithsiri.com Source: MacLife – August...

read more

New App to Disinfect iPads in Clinical Settings

iPads and other tablets are becoming an integral part of daily clinical functioning. If you use your iPad in a hospital setting, it is important to consider that your technology can spread nosocomial infections. Well, there is an app for that. deBac is a free iOS app that can can be used as an effective intervention to reduce microbial load.  A recent study published in JMIR evaluated the application versus no disinfection process and demonstrated 2.7-fold (P=.000670) lower bacterial load on the devices used in the clinical environment that underwent a standardized daily disinfection routine. The app is simple, it is a step-by-step interactive program that walks you through the decontamination process using isopropanol wipes. While that authors warn that this process may void your iPad warranty, they researched Apple’s recommendations for cleaning iOS devices. Apple warns against using cleaners or detergents but not specifically against alcohol wipes, so this remains an unresolved issue. Some of the steps in the process: Turn the device off before starting the cleaning process Unplug all connectors from the device and remove all visible sating from the surface of the iPad Put on chemical resistant gloves that are in accordance with the in-house policy Using a slightly damp cleansing tissue, wipe the front of the deivce until the screen background has turned completely blue. Start at the top left corner. The cleaning processs has to take at least 10 seconds. etc The authors hope to inform clinicians and hospitals that the “normal use of tablet PCs leads to a remarkable amount of microbial surface contamination. Standardized surface disinfection with isopropanol wipes as guided by the application significantly reduces this microbial load when performed regularly.” Source: J Med Internet Res...

read more