Prevent Suicide? Let Someone Hear Your Voice

There are now apps that can tell if you have Parkinson's just by listening to your voice on the phone.  Or help you monitor your heart remotely.  And now, tell if you're having, or about to have, a manic episode if you're bipolar, over the phone, and maybe even prevent a suicide.

According to, a new smart phone app detects mood swings through voice analysis.  

"Subtle qualities of a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder, a University of Michigan team reports," the Web site notes.

The researchers hope the app will eventually give people with bipolar disorder and their health care teams an early warning of the changing moods that give the condition its name. The technology could also help people with other conditions.

The hope is to find a biological marker that makes those in need of urgent care stand out, and then help them to stabilize their moods – especially in regions of the world with scarce mental health services. Bipolar disorder affects tens of millions of people worldwide, and can have devastating effects, including suicide.

“These pilot study results give us preliminary proof of the concept that we can detect mood states in regular phone calls by analyzing broad features and properties of speech, without violating the privacy of those conversations,” newswise quotes computer scientist Zahi Karam, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow and specialist in machine learning and speech analysis. “As we collect more data the model will become better, and our ultimate goal is to be able to anticipate swings, so that it may be possible to intervene early.”

For a while there, it seemed like bipolar disorder was the flavor of the month.  Quite a few celebrities said they  had it (and maybe they did).  But the reality is that it's a very serious disease and if it can be treated before it gets out of hand, what a lifesaver that just might turn out to be.


Popular posts from this blog

Think You're Pretty Smart? You May Actually Stink at Visual Skills, Crucial in Today's Digital World

Leave Your Ego at the Door

End Your Texts With a Period? Don't