Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a mobile app that monitors subtle qualities of a person’s voice during everyday phone conversations that shows promise for detecting early signs of mood changes in people with bipolar disorder.

The app runs on a smartphone and automatically monitors a patient’s voice patterns during calls made as well as during weekly conversations with a member of the patient’s care team. The computer program analyzes many characteristics of the sounds--and silences--of each conversation. The detection of mood states will improve over time as the software is tweaked based on more conversations and data from patients.

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