New measures of mental state and behavior based on data collected from sensors, smartphones, and the Internet

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2014 Dec;16(12):523. doi: 10.1007/s11920-014-0523-3.


With the rapid and ubiquitous acceptance of new technologies, algorithms will be used to estimate new measures of mental state and behavior based on digital data. The algorithms will analyze data collected from sensors in smartphones and wearable technology, and data collected from Internet and smartphone usage and activities. In the future, new medical measures that assist with the screening, diagnosis, and monitoring of psychiatric disorders will be available despite unresolved reliability, usability, and privacy issues. At the same time, similar non-medical commercial measures of mental state are being developed primarily for targeted advertising. There are societal and ethical implications related to the use of these measures of mental state and behavior for both medical and non-medical purposes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Marketing / ethics
  • Marketing / instrumentation*
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Telemedicine / instrumentation*
  • Telemedicine / methods