Verily and LivaNova accelerate efforts to detect and treat depression


Heads-up about a cou­ple fas­ci­nat­ing devel­op­ments over the last few weeks.

1) Verily’s Bold New Project Aims to Pre­dict Depres­sion Using Your Phone (Sin­gu­lar­i­ty­Hub):

Depres­sion is a shift­ing, amor­phous beast that silent­ly haunts mil­lions. It’s also dif­fi­cult to pinpoint.

Psy­chi­a­try has for­mu­lat­ed well-test­ed ques­tion­naires to diag­nose depres­sion. But these tests require patients to reach out and only pro­vide snap­shots of their dis­or­der in time … To Sil­i­con Val­ley, the answer to solv­ing depres­sion is data. After all, most anti-depres­sant tri­als only recruit up to thou­sands of peo­ple. With dig­i­tal health, any­one with a wrist wear­able or smart­phone could poten­tial­ly con­tribute in the largest stud­ies ever attempt­ed by mankind. And if depres­sive symp­toms cor­re­late in any way to a “dig­i­tal fin­ger print”—how some­one phys­i­cal­ly inter­acts with their smart­phone, for example—these mas­sive stud­ies, com­bined with AI and sheer com­put­ing pow­er, have the abil­i­ty to find out.

The vision isn’t fan­ta­sy. Last month, Google’s for­mer health­care divi­sion, Ver­i­ly, announced a new study seek­ing par­tic­i­pants to help trans­form your smart­phone into a mood pre­dic­tor. The ini­tia­tive is part of Verily’s Project Base­line, which aims to con­struct a “Google Earth”-esque birds-eye view of human biol­o­gy in health and dis­ease. If all goes as planned, the Mood Study could uncov­er “more objec­tive mea­sures of depres­sion” using smart­phone data from thou­sands of peo­ple alone.”

2) LivaNo­va loops Ver­i­ly into depres­sion device study (MedTech­Dive):

  • As part of an ongo­ing clin­i­cal tri­al of its implant­ed vagus nerve stim­u­la­tion (VNS) sys­tem in peo­ple with hard-to-treat depres­sion, LivaNo­va is part­ner­ing with Ver­i­ly to offer a wear­able device and mobile app meant to help gath­er addi­tion­al infor­ma­tion on study par­tic­i­pants’ behavior.
  • Using tech­nol­o­gy and ana­lyt­ics devel­oped by Google-par­ent Alpha­bet’s life sci­ences research orga­ni­za­tion, the goal is to “fur­ther under­stand depres­sive episodes and a patient’s response to treat­ment,” LivaNo­va said in the announce­ment Wednesday.
  • LivaNova’s RECOVER study is part of a pro­to­col approved by CMS for the device to be reim­bursed through its cov­er­age with evi­dence devel­op­ment pathway.

News in Context:

Rethink­ing and Retool­ing Brain Health and Men­tal Health,

ses­sion held dur­ing the 2019 Sharp­Brains Vir­tu­al Summit

About SharpBrains

SHARPBRAINS is an independent think-tank and consulting firm providing services at the frontier of applied neuroscience, health, leadership and innovation.
SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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