Friday, March 22, 2013

Can an iPhone App Cure Depression?

I was contacted recently by a group taking research data on Depression and turning it into an app. The research was by Harvard scientist, Diego Pizzagalli. Using MRIs and EEGs, he noticed certain parts of the brain light up in response to antidepressants and psychotherapy. If those parts of the brain weren't lighting up, then the treatment wasn't working. So he asked himself, "Is there another way to light up those parts of the brain?" He and a group of app developers formed BrainTracer and created MoodTune, an app that, if played for 15 minutes a day, will replace medical treatments for some people.

You can read more about it over at Popular Science. It sounds promising, but I'd have to see it at work before getting too excited. Also, their payment scheme is pricey and puts the app out of reach for my budget, though you might find it acceptable if you were already paying for medication. Users basically subscribe to the app. There is a kickstarter project up and running over at Indigogo to get funding to bring the app to market.

Take a look and let me know what you think.