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Mental Health Monitoring Through 'selfie' Videos and Social Media Tracking

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A woman snapping a selfie.

Researchers at the University of Rochester say they have developed an approach that can turn any camera-equipped computer or smartphone into a personal mental health monitoring device.

Credit: infomastern

University of Rochester researchers have developed an approach to turning any computer or smartphone with a camera into a personal mental health monitoring device.

The approach uses software to analyze "selfie" videos recorded by a webcam as the user engages with social media. The program is designed to be unobtrusive, in that it does not require users to explicitly state what they are feeling, input any extra information, or wear any special gear.

The researchers used the program to analyze the video data and extract a number of "clues," such as heart rate, blinking rate, eye pupil radius, and head movement rate. They then enrolled 27 participants in a test group and sent them messages, real tweets, with sentiment to induce their emotion, which enabled them to gauge how subjects reacted after seeing or reading material considered to be positive or negative.

University of Rochester professor Jiebo Luo notes using this system means "effectively giving this app permission to observe you constantly." However, Luo says the program is designed for the use of the user only and does not share data with anyone else unless otherwise designated by the user.

From University of Rochester NewsCenter
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Abstracts Copyright © 2015 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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