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Studies are being conducted across the United States to investigate how to use Smartphones as early detectors of mental illness in teens. One of the goals for these studies is to detect the signs of mental illness at a much earlier stage, particularly among young people. The thinking behind it is that as users scroll through social media or watch YouTube videos, they leave digital footprints that might offer clues to their psychological well-being. These signs can be picked up through typing speeds, vocabulary, tone of voice and how these change over time. According to Dr. Thomas Insel, there might be over 1,000 ‘biomarkers’ for illnesses such as depression. Work is still being conducted to discern which parts of the data collected can act as significant predictors of mental health problems. Read more here.

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