Mobile health is optimising care
Optimising mobile health interventions such as MindTick, now trialling in Adelaide, may transform mental health management, particularly for Australians living in remote and regional areas, says Harvard professor Susan Murphy.
A global leader in statistics and computer science, Murphy will use mathematics and statistics to explore how Australia can optimise mobile health technology, including phone apps, to support management of chronic illness and mental health.
“Using data, we can determine the impact of key factors such as location, stress, time of day and mood on when and where treatments are most useful,” she explains.
As Aussie farmers struggle with mental health in drought conditions, she believes technology, including her Australian collaboration MindTick, could deliver enormous benefits for Australians unable to frequently access health services.
“Mobile health interventions are readily accessible to people who live in rural or isolated areas expanding service delivery and access to critical supports,” she says.
In Adelaide, Murphy will speak at Flinders University, where long-time collaborator Niranjan Bidargaddi is based. Associate professor Bidargaddi works closely with Murphy on mobile interventions, including the development of MindTick.
Now in trial, the Flinders University-developed phone app aims to assist early diagnosis and management of mental illness using mobile phone data to monitor known risks and trigger intervention.
“By detecting subtle changes in user feelings and behaviour, we can act on early warning signs before a crisis,” explains Bidargaddi.
As well as enabling naturalistic intervention to support self-management and awareness of support needs in the participant’s own environment, it is hoped the tool will allow personalised care and prioritisation of crisis patients.
Flinders University professor of Psychiatry and member of the beyondblue Board of Directors, Michael Baigent says that Australians have benefited from similar apps such as the Beyondnow app. He believes MindTick will change mental healthcare.
“The MindTick app offers many patient and therapeutic benefits with the potential to bring about game-changing results in research and treatment,” he says.
Sponsored by Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute (AMSI) and Statistical Society of Australia (SSA), this annual lecture tour provides a platform to strengthen ties between the international and Australian mathematical and statistical communities, while allowing broader audiences the rare opportunity to engage with field leaders.
AMSI director professor Geoff Prince says the Institute was delighted to partner with SSA to co-sponsor Murphy’s tour of Australia and boost engagement between the research and general communities.
“Susan’s work highlights the exciting impact of statistics and mathematics on everyday lives and how we live and engage with the world,” says Prince.
Throughout the month of August, Murphy is touring the nation (from 14 to 24 August) as the AMSI touring lecturer 2018. She will appear in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.
Lecture details – all sessions start at 6.30pm
Melbourne: 14 Aug – La Trobe University Bundoora Campus
Adelaide: 16 Aug – Flinders University, Bedford Park Campus
Perth: 20 Aug – Murdoch University, Murdoch Campus
Brisbane: 22 Aug – The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus
Sydney: 23 Aug – University of Technology Sydney, Ultimo
Bookings for these events are essential: https://research.
For more information on MindTick visit: http://mindtick.