Can a phone application become psychologist's tool?

24 Feb 2013, 14:26
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People experiencing psychological effects of stress, anxiety or depression are frequently urged by the doctors to write down their emotional state changes during the day to help determine the optimum treatment choice.


However, many patients neglect to keep such a diary. A new mobile application Xpression aims to facilitate this routine task and make it more fun, reports New Scientist.


The creators of the application - Matt Dobson and Duncan Barclay - employed speech recognition technology to closely detect changes in tone and tempo of human voice.


Depending on the change of tone the program determines the emotional state according to five-parameter scale (calm, angry, sad, anxious/scared, happy). Xpression is able to run in automatic mode sending the gathered information to a psychologist.


The program must be running permanently to perform efficient analysis, like every second. Of course, it does not record the conversations, so privacy of the users is protected, the developers say.


After performing the necessary calculations considering such factors as speech intensity, loudness, changes in tone and pace, the remote server sends back already processed information allowing the professional to understand patient's emotional state quite accurately.


Clinical trials of Xpression are expected to start at the end of this year.


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