NEWS & ANALYSIS

Apple Working on iPhone Technology to Detect Depression, Cognitive Decline


Apple is working on new technology to help detect and diagnose depression and cognitive decline in efforts to expand its health portfolio. 

Using a series of data, including mobility, physical activity, sleep patterns and typing behavior, researchers hope to compile digital signals associated with the target conditions so algorithms can be created to detect them reliably, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The efforts come amid research partnerships between Apple and UCLA to study stress, anxiety and depression, as well as a partnership with Biogen to study cognitive impairment. 

It is no secret that depression and anxiety rates are at an all-time high, especially amidst the pandemic. And, while mental health conditions often require a medical diagnosis, researchers with Apple hope to offer a widely available alternative. 

41 percent of adults reported anxiety or depression-related symptoms in January, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is nearly four times the number in early 2019.