Blog / Feb 23, 2018
Leveraging Big Data Analytics To Improve Mental Health
Mental illness is difficult to categorize, understand and communicate. Patients suffering from a mental health condition often wait for months, even years before an effective diagnosis is reached.
Big Data and analytics can prove to be a game changer, for offering personalized care for patients facing mental challenges.
One of our portfolio companies, a Big Data startup by the name of Health Rhythm, has geared up to solve this problem. It aims to leverage deep machine learning and predictive analytics to create novel health assessments and just-in-time personalized interventions. These in turn, can improve the care delivery experience for patients, health plans, payers and research organizations.
Health Rhythms required a comprehensive and clinically grounded application to translate the reporting of mental well being into loud, clear and actionable statistics. The application is primarily a mobile app but along with web components as well.
Engineering and Project Management team at Virtual Force worked with the founding team to understand their experiments and plan a technology features to help collect the data for the experiments. VF helped with product design and development.
We leveraged passively collected data to gain a continuous and refined view of daily behavioral activities. The objective data helped identify subtle behavioral trends that may not have been easily captured via traditional self-report. By mapping these behavioral trends, we helped identify contributing factors that impact health.
Some of the salient features of the application included:
Call/ SMS Activity Detection
The application, installed on the patient’s phone, is capable of detecting when messages are being sent from the phone or whether calls are being made and received. This allows the monitoring doctor to take note when patient is socializing or making contact with people via cell phone.
Physical Activity Detection via Sensor Mobility
The application utilizes sensors in mobiles to detect when patients are doing any physical activity. This includes walking, running, climbing stairs and general movement.
Our work speaks for itself. Here’s what our client had to say:
“I would not hesitate to recommend VF to any early to late stage startup looking to develop an excellent product with limited resources. When we started working with Virtual Force over 2 years ago, we did not have the resources to hire engineers internally. VF provided dedicated high quality engineers that provided the next best thing to an internal hire. They have always gone above and beyond specifications to make sure you get your product shipped, bug free. The best testament of our satisfaction with VF’s work is that even though we today have a growing internal engineering team, we are still working with the original developer who feels like a member of our team. “
COO Health Rhythms
Mobile Apps Usage
The app also keeps track of applications being used on a patient’s mobile to track the time they spend using their mobiles. A report is generated against internet usage and installed apps along with time spent on each app.
Virtual Force also integrated a self-reporting module in the application where users can enter information which cannot be tracked using technology. Detailed reports regarding the data entered are sent to the supervising doctors.
Location tracking using GPS
This app also locates position of the patients to determine the places they went to. This also helps ascertain if the patient has spent time socialising in public places.
Encrypted & Safe Data Storage
The app does not track the specifics of the users and all of the data is hashed to prevent any information leak. The patient is informed prior to the installation of the app regarding the app control.
Health Rhythm has also managed to raise $2.1 mn from NIH recently:
HealthRhythms Awarded $2.1M from NIH to Improve Behavioral Health by Sensing and Stabilizing Daily Routines https://t.co/l635kL6sLA
— HealthRhythms (@health_rhythms) September 19, 2017
Virtual Force launched the first version of the application within 8 months and continuously working onwards, helping turnout new and improved revisions, in tandem with Health Rhythms team.
Health Rhythms is continuously scaling while getting user feedback and improving their offerings. The reporting and analytics system enabled them to garner much more insight than before. The intuitive interface has empowered them to manage each and every bit of the application with relative ease with no hassle and ambiguity.