Not only does our cell phone have all our contacts, know all our account numbers and passwords, know where we've been and where we're going, know about our love life, spell for us, but now it knows if we're depressed.

A study released this week suggests phone usage data can be used to diagnose mental states — in particular, depression.

David Mohr, one of the authors of the study and director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine says: “We found that the more time people spend on their phones, the more likely they are to be more depressed,”  Researchers also found that spending lots of time at home was linked to depression—and that phone data like this could predict with 87% accuracy whether someone had symptoms of depression.

According to News Discovery:

Researchers analyzed GPS data and phone usage for 28 individuals over two weeks. The participants were also given a widely used standardized questionnaire that measures depressive symptoms. Of the participants, 14 did not have any signs of depression and 14 had symptoms ranging from mild to severe depression.

According to the study, the more time a person spent using a smart phone, the more likely that person was to be depressed. The average daily usage for depressed participants was about 68 minutes, compared to 17 minutes for non-depressed participants. GPS tracking revealed that those who spent most of their time at home, or in fewer locations, were more likely to have depressive symptoms.

The study was published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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