Dr. Nick Allen Interviewed for Statnews: Privacy in Mental Health Apps
Updated: Mar 9
This article is one of many in the Digital Health era that asks, how does a person benefit from their smartphone data being collected by mental health apps? As stated in the article,
"Phone apps hold enormous promise for mental health research and treatment, and could even prevent acute episodes of psychosis or suicide attempts. They’re always with the patient, unobtrusively monitoring sleep patterns, movements, location, and social interactions, providing clinicians insight into a person’s life that a monthly appointment can’t. But the question lingers whether patients using these apps are aware of just how much information they’re handing over, and how it’s being used."
Here, Dr. Allen shared the research he was conducting for one of the most extensive mobile phone studies in teenagers who are at risk for suicide. The trial collected GPS data, activity levels, call and text metadata, audio diaries, text conversations, social media posts, and even analyzed facial expressions in selfies. The goal was to see whether these digital signals could predict an imminent suicide threat so clinicians or emergency responders can intervene in time. Of the importance of this research, he said, "the benefit of early detection and prevention is really profound. I mean, you could be saving a life potentially."
This research laid the foundation for Ksana Health and our wellness products, rooted in the mission of preventing mental health crises, putting patient and research participant data back into the hands of those that need it, in order to improve their mental health and wellbeing - without compromising privacy.
Click here to read the full article!