BiAffect is a system for understanding mood and neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder using keystroke dynamics, such as typing speed and errors, to track and predict mood episodes. Alteration in communication is one of the main problematic symptoms of bipolar disorder. This study will unobtrusively monitor non-verbal communications on iPhone to improve our understanding of mood disorders and provide a means of predicting future mood fluctuations.
Try the app
The BiAffect team will spend the coming months developing a prototype ResearchKit app to pilot with iPhone users in TestFlight. Sign up below to try BiAffect when the prototype is ready.
Why are you conducting this study?
Currently, diagnosis and treatment of bipolar disorder relies on the careful collection of medical history and mental status examinations by an experienced clinician, at times aided by self-report or family-informed questionnaires. These reports must then be interpreted by healthcare providers to extract patterns that could indicate an imminent change in mood.
With the expanding coverage of wireless internet access and rapid advancement of mobile technologies, people are increasingly interacting via typed, rather than spoken communications. Thus, BiAffect aims to use keystroke dynamics to examine the ubiquitous “virtual mental-health footprints” or “signatures” of neuropsychological abnormalities in people suffering from mood disorders.
How does your study leverage ResearchKit?
ResearchKit allows access to iPhone’s proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, camera, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, barometer, NFC, Touch ID, and pressure sensitive display, which we’ll use to collect context-sensitive metadata as participants use the BiAffect keyboard. We will also employ ResearchKit modules like surveys and active tasks to supplement this metadata.
Who is your target audience?
Our target audience is anyone with or without a diagnosis of bipolar disorder who is an English-speaking U.S. resident aged 18 or older, interested in a) contributing to research, b) learning about how their mood interacts with cognition, and c) understanding the neuropsychological underpinnings of keyboard usage patterns and dynamics.
How will participants benefit?
“How are you feeling” provides charts of users’ self-rated mood surveys and passively-determined mood states.
“How are you thinking” and “How are you self-monitoring” display composite scores of several key domains of cognitive functions.
Two 24-hour circular charts compare users’ current daily keyboard activities to their historical norms.
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