A Smartphone App Effective for Monitoring Schizophrenia Symptoms and tracking digital phenotypes was proved to be viable as well as acceptable during a worldwide investigation of schizophrenia patients in the United States and India, according to the results released in Digital Health.
“Access to effective treatment for those suffering from schizophrenia is restricted in all countries, and particularly in low and middle-income countries” the researchers concluded. “Given that early interventions are effective and can alter the course of the disease, attempts to provide accessible and scalable treatment for schizophrenia are an important global issue in mental health. Digital health technologies, particularly smartphones, are a promising method of providing affordable and scalable healthcare.”
The research that is currently being conducted shows an enthusiasm for, and an openness to the possibility of using smartphones as a method of recovery for patients suffering from schizophrenia According to Matcheri Keshavan, MD, and colleagues. Researchers pointed out evidence that shows smartphones can offer evidence-based resources like psychoeducation and therapeutic tools. They could also be used to track the progress of recovery and the likelihood of relapse through digital Phenotyping.
Dr. Keshavan and colleagues examined the application on smartphones to analyze functional and clinical information from people suffering from schizophrenia. Researchers enrolled sixty participants (mean age: 30.62 and 50% female) from three different locations including one within the US and two in India.
Digital Approach appears to be scalable, and has the Capability to Create Novel Data
Out of the participants who participated in the first study visit 53 completed the initial follow up visit, and were the only ones who were included in the subsequent studies (mean age of 31 years 50 percent female). The severity of symptoms associated with psychosis was low among participants from three locations, while cognitive function was the highest among those at that US site.
The average number of activities daily was 8.8 There was little or no difference in the number of activities that were completed across three study sites. The average amount of activities related to tips and relaxation completed in a month differed significantly across study locations; US participants took part in the highest number of relaxing activities, while Indian participants completed the most tasks related to learning tips.
The quality of data did not differ in any significant way between the sites. Researchers were able to collect at most 50% of the average expected GPS data points from every site.
“These results indicate that research conducted internationally using digital phenotyping methods is feasible, that is both practical and acceptable and could yield new information,” Dr. Keshavan and co-authors published. “With the increasing accessibility and use of smartphones in a variety of locations around the world, the use of digital phenotyping can be possible to be scalable across various populations.”
Further analysis of long-term use of the app as well as its clinical value are required as per the research team.
“Our study was limited due to the small sample size as well as COVID-19’s impact,” researchers have written. “However the trends in the use of smartphones in India as well as those in the United States suggest that such tools could be easily adaptable to countries with low middle incomes to address the growing demand for mental health services as an adjunct to medical care.”