AI may be able to detect mental health changes through voice analysis

New technology may be able to analyze a patient's mental health solely by listening and evaluating changes in their voice, reported The New York Times April 5.

Certain mental health issues can be detected through listening to a patient's voice, according to Maria Espinola, PsyD, an assistant professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She told the Times that depressed patients for instance speak in a flatter, more monotone way and anxiety patients talk quickly, often struggling for breath. 

Machine learning algorithms can leverage what experts know about mental health and tone of voice to detect mood and help patients understand and manage their moods.

"A lot can happen in between appointments, and technology can really offer us the potential to improve monitoring and assessment in a more continuous way," said Kate Bentley, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. 

There are a range of apps already on the market for this, including one from Cigna.

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