Mind.me is trying to disrupt mental healthcare by monitoring depression through an app an your phone


There’s been a lot of high-profile efforts to disrupt the healthcare industry in the past few years—including successful ventures from Diagram, a launchpad for insurance, financial services, and healthcare startups, and the announcement of a one year pilot program for Dialogue, a bilingual virtual healthcare platform.

But what about mental health specifically? Entrepreneurs are especially prone to running themselves ragged, regularly working 80 hour weeks and foregoing vacations in the rush to turn their vision into reality.

That’s where mind.me comes in. It’s a passive mobile application and its goal is to help people with depression diagnose, manage, and predict it.

The three founders, Richard ZeidelJonathan Levitt, and Sylvain Perron, have been working together on and off for the past 25 years. Together they run Circle 6, an agency and digital/mobile shop. Circle 6 launched an incubator nine months ago, and mind.me is the first spin-off from that incubator.

“It’s sort of by patients for patients,” Jonathan Levitt told MTLinTECH. “I myself suffer from major depressive disorder and my partner suffers from bipolar disorder. Last fall, we were starting to notice signs in one of the partners that he was heading into a funk, and we approached him and tried to bring it up. He wasn’t able to see it.

Essentially the hypothesis we came up with two-fold. One: Are people able to see symptoms the patient is not as they move into a depressive state? Two: Could we passively, based on the user’s behavior, sensors on the phone, and usage, could we identify those triggers. The answer to the first part of the question was absolutely, I’m able to tell if somebody I know who suffers from a mental health condition is slipping. And then the alpha was really our way of validating the second hypothesis, which was yes, we can detect the change in behavior simply by installing an app on someone’s telephone. That was really the genesis of the idea. And because we’re patients building for patients, we’re extremely intimate with both the subject matter and the triggers.”

READ ALSO: Diagram expands team, closes additional investment of $5 million

Once the app is installed on a user’s device, no further action is required. The app monitors data feeds to determine each user’s phone usage baseline, and notices deviations.

“Everybody’s baseline is different. Everybody has a different set of data streams that will help us from the machine learning side. What we’re looking for is patterns and exception reporting. As an example, one of the things I will do if I’m heading into a sort of depressive state is I tend to isolate, I recoil. And that will manifest in several ways: it will manifest in less usage of the phone, my circle of contacts I speak to will shrink drastically. If I am looking at GPS data, what we typically see is people have three zones: a home zone, a work zone, and an in-between zone or the social layer. What happens as you enter depression is you’ll see the in-between zone starts to shrink. What this means is my movement now is strictly utilitarian, I’m going from home to work and from work to home. If things start to get really bad, you’ll start to see the shrinkage of your cluster. One data set in and of itself won’t tell us anything, it’s the algorithms that are combining all the data sets that are looking for the triggers per individual.”

The app is nearing the end of closed beta, with plans to transition to a public beta in the first few weeks of March.

“There’s hundreds of data feeds that can speak to drivers of mood change. Right now we’re looking at things like call logs, SMS logs, GPS location, we’re looking at accelerometer, we’re looking at screen-on/screen-off.”

“All of the data feeds that we’ve brought into the application represent a symptom. The way that depression is typically calculated, if you have five of nine symptoms for a period of two weeks or more, you are considered depressed. Essentially what we’re doing is adding data feeds to speak to each of those nine symptoms.”

The output of all that data is called the mood board, and it’s visible on the user’s phone to keep track of how they’re doing over time. The mood board is also useful for physicians to heave a real-time picture of a patient’s day-to-day health over time.

READ ALSO: Dialogue teams up with Great-West Life to run pilot program in Ontario and Quebec

“The mood board is basically like green light, yellow light, red light. Either you seem to be doing well, you seem to be slipping, or woah, we’ve got a red flag. We’re outputting for three stakeholders. The patient, who has the mood board which provides a level of self-awareness. The circle of trust. And the third is the user’s physician. I’ll go see my doctor three or four times a year and he’ll ask me how I’m doing, and when I answer, subconsciously I’m only referencing the past three to five days. By having a trend line and a data stream that’s available to the physician, this idea of self-reporting mood becomes obsolete. He now has an intimate look into the ups and downs of the patient’s mood on a real-time basis.”

Mind.me will also alert the member’s of a user’s ‘circle of trust’ if warning signs are apparent, letting those closest to the user know that they might be slipping into a depressive phase.

“The app asks the patient to identify two, three, four or five family members, coworkers or friends, someone who is aware of the condition or that the patient is comfortable enough talking to. When the app detects an upcoming depression, it will reach out to the circle of trust and proactively ask them to get involved.”

“When you think about all the parents out there whose teens are walking around with phones—and I have a teen at home—having an app like this is essential for me to be able to monitor his mental state.”

The closed beta has been a success, with tests determining 91% accuracy with the apps diagnostic capability. That success has attracted leading mental health experts to the team. Mind.me announced last week that Patrick Cashman and Roger McIntyre have joined as partners and Executive Chairman and Chief Medical Officer respectively. Dr. Raymond Lam has joined as a founding advisory board member.

“When we ran our alpha we reached out to some industry leaders and tried to get both validation of the idea, and we were in the process of building an advisory board. Dr. McIntyre was on our radar, when we reached out to him he was extremely impressed with what we’re doing and the results we’ve had so far, and he decided he wanted to play a larger role. He’s a partner in the business and our Chief Medical Officer. Patrick is the same, he’s a seasoned pharmaceutical executive who took a real interest in what we’re doing, believed so much in where we’re headed that he as well wanted to play a deeper role. We’ve been able, as a result of our successful alpha—we ran it in 22 countries—we’ve been able to attract some really impressive talent. We’re thrilled to have them on board.”

Patrick Cashman is the former President of Lundbeck Canada, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies engaged in research and development, production, marketing and sale of drugs for the treatment of disorders in the central nervous system, especially depression. Dr. McIntyre is a Professor Psychiatry and Pharmacology at the University of Toronto and Head of the Mood Disorders Psychopharmacology Unit at the University Health Network in Toronto. Dr. Lam is a Professor and Head of the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, and Director of the Mood Disorders Centre of Excellence at UBC Hospital within the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

“I believe mind.me will pioneer a new way to assist physicians and support patients and their loved ones. Physicians treating depression will improve patient’s lives with access to the first and largest real-time mental health database in the world. The company’s artificial intelligence and machine learning is already showing tremendous opportunity.  I am proud to be a part of this very talented team who will change the treatment paradigm for depression.” said Patrick Cashman.

Now there’s one less excuse to take care of your mental help: there’s an app for that.

27 Comments

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  1. 4
    Belva Cellucci

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  3. 14
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  5. 16
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    The author kindly provided me with the raw data allowing me to reanalyze the results within his focus. I came up with the results shown in Figure 3A which may be advantageously compared with Figure 3 of the article.
    Successful English is my classroom. Every good teacher has classroom rules to make sure that everything that happens in the classroom contributes to the students’ learning. This comment policy is my set of rules for conversations – or comments – here at Successful English. I want every visitor to have a good experience and all of our conversations to be as helpful as possible.

  6. 27
    666

    Would you allow your government to place a microchip in your body?

    Did you know that is the future we are approaching with RFID Microchip technology?

    Even more importantly, did you know there was a man almost 2000 years ago who prophesied of a cashless society in the last days? This mans name is Jesus.

    Did you know that this RFID Microchip matches perfectly with the Mark of the Beast in Revelation 13:16-18?

    “He(the false prophet) causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Revelation 13:16-18).

    Referring to the end times, this could only be speaking of a cashless money society, which we have yet to see, but are moving towards. Otherwise we could still buy or sell without the mark among others if physical money was still currency. This mark could not be spiritual, because the word references two distinct physical locations on the human body. If it was spiritual, it would only say in the forehead.

    Mr. Carl Sanders attended seventeen New World Order meetings with heads-of-state officials such as Henry Kissinger and Bob Gates of the C.I.A. to discuss plans on how to bring about this one-world system. The US government commissioned Carl Sanders to engineer a microchip for identifying and controlling the peoples of the world-a microchip that could be placed under the skin with a hypodermic needle(a quick, convenient process that would be slowly accepted by society).

    Carl Sanders, along with a team of engineers behind him, with U.S. grant monies provided by US tax dollars, took on this challenge and designed a chip that is powered by a lithium battery, rechargeable through the temperature changes in our skin. Without having knowledge of the Bible(Carl Sanders was not a follower of Christ at the time), these engineers spent one-and-a-half-million dollars doing research on the best and most convenient place to have the microchip placed under the skin.

    Guess what? These researchers discovered that the forehead and the back of the hand(the two places Revelation says the mark will go) are not just the most convenient places, but are also the only viable locations for rapid, consistent temperature changes in the skin to recharge the lithium battery. The RFID chip is approximately seven millimeters in length, .75 millimeters in diameter, about the size of a grain of rice. It is capable of containing pages of information about you. All your general history, work history, crime record, health history, and financial data can be stored on this chip.

    Brother Sanders believes that this microchip, which he regretfully helped design, is the “mark” spoken about in Revelation 13:16-18. The original Greek word for “mark” is “charagma,” which means a “scratch or etching.” It is also interesting to note that the number 666 is a word in the original Greek language. The word is “chi xi stigma,” with the last part, “stigma,” also meaning “to stick or prick. Carl believes this is referring to the use of a hypodermic needle being poked into the human flesh to insert the microchip.”

    Mr. Sanders asked a doctor what would happen if the lithium contained within the RFID microchip leaked into the body. The doctor responded by saying a terrible sore would appear in that spot. This is what the book of Revelation says:

    “And the first(Angel) went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image” (Revelation 16:2).

    The Bible tells us we cannot buy or sell without the mark of the beast, or the number of its name. This number is identified as 666. The Bible tells us to calculate the number 666.

    In this world we are identified by numbers, whether it is our social security number, drivers license, or cards used to make payments. The number of the beast represents something like this, to identify us in a one world government system. This number will be contained within the microchip to identify each and every one of us so we may buy or sell.

    To see the hidden meaning behind calculating the number 666(6+6+6=18), and how it matches up with scipture perfectly,

    Go to: https://biblefreedom.com/rfid-mark-revealed

    The Bible warns us in the last days that a false prophet will rise up doing miracles to deceive many to take this mark. At all costs, do not take it!

    “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name” (Revelation 14:9-11).

    Out of all the world religions, how can we be sure the Bible got it right? The scientific data has established and continues to support that the universe once had a beginning in which space, time and matter were created. This is known as the big bang.

    “The non-biblical religions tell us that god or god’s create within space and time that eternally exist. The Bible stands alone and says that time and space don’t exist until God creates the universe.” – Hugh Ross

    Did you know that the real Noah’s Ark was discovered where the Bible told us it would be with the correct dimensions? As well as hard evidence for the destruction of Sodom Gomorrah and the Exodus account of the Red Sea crossing?

    The Bible is the most translated and read book in the history of the world, full of predictive prophecies. Wouldn’t you expect God’s word to be so?

    This information can all be found at https://biblefreedom.com

    “And He(Jesus) said to me(Apostle John), “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6).

    “Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water(the Holy Spirit) that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

    “Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (John 3:5-6).

    All religion is man-made. Man can create religion, but no one can create the Holy Spirit that comes from God out of Heaven. Jesus never told us to follow a religion or denomination:

    “Then He(Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (Luke 9:23).

    You can receive the Spirit of God right now. If you are willing to humble yourself before the Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day; call out to God and ask Him to forgive your sins, to receive His Holy Spirit. If you are genuine, He is faithful and just to forgive, and He will give you a new heart, a renewing of the mind, restoring everything the devil has stolen from you; making you like a child again, through the sanctification of the Spirit.

    When we receive the Spirit of God, we become born from above, and His seed resides within us. We no longer make a practice of sin, but rather turn away from unrighteousness and receive the righteousness of Christ.

    From that point onward, we must put all our hope and trust in Jesus, and grow to walk in His ways, not straying from the narrow path. For Jesus says,

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

    “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty(One God), Who was(Jesus) and is(YHWH) and is to come(Jesus)!” (Revelation 4:8).

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