Patients with Depression Use Apple Watch to Evaluate Mood, Cognition

Compliance rates neared 100%, and the tests showed value, according to a pilot by Takeda and Cognition Kit.

Patients who are prescribed antidepressant monotherapy for mild to moderate depression (MDD) appear willing to take daily mood and cognition tests via an Apple Watch, according to a new pilot study from Takeda Pharmaceuticals and the mobile software platform Cognition Kit.

Participant compliance rates hit 95% for the mood tests and 96% for the cognition exams, according to the results. The study, which also aimed to “compare measures” with traditional testing and outcomes, also found that the “abbreviated daily assessments” on the wearable devices “corresponded” with the Cambridge neuropsychological Test Automated Battery tests and full-length patient reported outcomes.

“We are delighted that people living with MDD engaged with Cognition Kit on the Apple Watch so well,” Cognition Kit’s director, Ben Fehnert, said in a statement. “We remain focused on our mission to understand mental health through regular interactions with mobile and wearable technology and to put that information into the hands of patients, researchers, and healthcare professionals.”

The pilot spanned 30 participants, from age 18-65, over the course of 6 weeks, according to the companies. They called the findings “exploratory,” noting that the results will help generate new hypotheses and aid the direction of coming clinical studies using wearable tech.

The organizations planned to present a full rundown of the data this weekend at the 2017 CNS Summit Meeting in Boca Raton, Florida.

Nicole Mowad-Nassar, vice president of external partnerships at Takeda’s US division, praised the pilot as just 1 example of the company’s commitment to developing new ways to measure mental health outcomes.

“Technology may allow us to create real-time objective measurements for assessing effects in depression that could transform patient care by increasing our ability to estimate clinical conditions and support earlier engagement between the patient and clinician,” she said in a statement.

The executive added that Takeda is “encouraged” by the results and intends to pursue additional ventures that straddle the disintegrating line between healthcare and technology.

In recent months, tech and medicine have converged in intriguing new ways. Twitter, for instance, has popped up as a viable predictor of depression, according to 1 study. Many of these studies have also examined patient compliance, a clear necessity for telemedicine to take off.