Current approaches to assessing a person’s social wellbeing generally rely on subjective retrospective judgments by the person themselves at the time of the assessment. As part of the MRC-funded Monitoring Device to Objectively Assess Psychosocial Impairment project we are developing a Wearable Acoustic Monitor (WAM), a wrist-worn device that records levels of social interaction of the wearer. The device will be used to explore our hypothesis that levels of social interaction are a reliable indicator of the psychosocial wellbeing of the wearer.
To ensure that the WAM does not invade a user’s privacy, the device will not collect raw audio data, but will present a compact representation of what it records, which will then be subject to analysis using pattern recognition algorithms. Information taken into account will include frequency and length of interactions, and voice acoustics such as pitch and amplitude, which can provide insight into the emotional state of the speaker.
This device will be piloted by clinicians as a means of assessing the psychosocial wellbeing of older patients with depression, potentially allowing a more tailored approach to their treatment.
Part of the Monitoring Device to Objectively Assess Psychosocial Impairment project.