Can Your Phone Predict Your Health?

Today’s smartphones seem like they can do just about anything. Many technology researchers believe that smartphones can do much more than stream high-definition movies and give their owners driving directions.

 

Smartphones may even have the ability to predict the health of their users.

 

 

Social Media Use Could Predict Mental Health Trends

 

On average, people touch their phones about 2,617 per day. Some companies believe that they can study those interactions to detect changes in a person’s mental health.

 

According to a New York Times article, some researchers have already started using social media interactions to recognize signs that a person has become depressed or suicidal.

 

Leaders at Facebook have developed artificial intelligence that scans posts and videos to find evidence of changes in mental health. For instance, if a person’s account receives several comments asking things like “Are you okay” and “Do you need any help,” Facebook’s AI may determine that the person is living through a difficult period.

 

In some cases, Facebook may even send users notes that encourage them to call mental health helplines for assistance.

 

 

A Google Tool Could Diagnose Illness From Images

 

Google has also used machine learning to determine when smartphone users are sick. The most recent attempt makes educated guesses by analyzing retinas. Initial tests show that Google’s DeepVariant AI can determine a person’s gender, smoking status and even blood pressure just by reviewing pictures of retinas.

 

DeepVariant isn’t perfect, but it gets the correct answer more often than not. As the AI gains access to more data, it will likely become better at diagnosing illnesses and health conditions.

 

 

The Future of Predicting Health

 

Many doctors are excited about the advances in smartphone technology because it offers a low-cost opportunity to predict a person’s health and spot potentially dangerous situations.

 

Unfortunately, no one has built a smartphone app that can predict dental problems. Getting their teeth cleaning at least twice a year is still the most effective way for people to improve their dental health. Regular visits also give dentists opportunities to spot signs of developing dental issues.

 

DentalSave makes dental care affordable for individuals and families to get the care that they need to stay healthy. Until smartphones get sophisticated enough to detect cavities, people can use DentalSave to save money on the dental services they need.

 

 

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