Behavioral health issues like depression and bipolar disorder don’t often manifest with the kinds of clear, outward symptoms that presage the common cold.
But technologies such as smartphones and smartwatches could be used to detect subtle changes in behavior and help willing individuals – in coordination with their doctors – better monitor and manage their conditions.
Tanzeem Choudhury, the Roger and Joelle Burnell Professor in Integrated Health and Technology at the Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech, sees incredible potential for artificial intelligence (AI) in the area of behavioral health, a term encompassing all aspects of mental well-being. To that end, Choudhury this fall launched the Precision Behavioral Health Initiative, a collaboration between health industry professionals and faculty and students throughout Cornell Computing and Information Science.
Based at Cornell Tech in New York City but spanning Cornell’s Ithaca campus and Weill Cornell Medicine, the initiative aims to usher mobile health into a new, AI-driven phase that bridges prevailing gaps in accurate measurement, customized intervention and clinical impact.
“There’s a lot of cool technology out there and really innovative sensors and home devices that can understand users and user behavior,” Choudhury said. “The challenge for the initiative is, how to take this volume of user data and interpret it into meaningful health metrics to be used by doctors and clinicians to understand patients’ mental health and provide the best treatments?”
Louis DiPietro is communications coordinator for the Department of Information Science.