‘Apple is working on iPhone function to recognize depression in users’

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is working on a feature for iPhone that will help them recognize cognitive impairment and depression in users. The functionality would currently be tested to develop an accurate algorithm.

Documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal point to the development of the new feature. The tech giant would collaborate with researchers from the University of Los Angeles and the American pharmaceutical company Biogen. Based on mobility, sleeping patterns and typing behavior, Apple wants to be able to recognize if someone is experiencing possible depressive feelings or suffers from a cognitive disorder. The companies declined to respond to questions from The Wall Street Journal.

According to the leaked information, the feature is not intended to replace a doctor’s or expert’s diagnosis. However, Apple’s health functions can send a signal to a user if he or she appears to be suffering from a cognitive impairment or depressive feelings. The function would be tested on 3000 test subjects since 2020.

In recent years, Apple has increasingly focused on functionality that helps users monitor their health. With the announcement of iOS 15, Apple introduced a feature that allows the operating system to warn a user if it is unstable and at increased risk of falling. With the user’s permission, data about his health can also be shared with a loved one.

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