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.
In Australia this month, Professor Murphy is touring the nation from 14-24 August as the Australian Mathematical Sciences (AMSI) Touring Lecturer 2018. Co-sponsored by the Statistical Society of Australia (SSA), she will appear in Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.
A global leader in Statistics and Computer Science, she 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, Professor 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 beyondblueBoard of Directors, Michael Baigent says 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 AMSI and 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 said the Institute was delighted to partner with SSA to co-sponsor Professor 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 Professor Prince.
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
Must Register – Bookings: https://research.amsi.org.au/amsi-lecturer/
Lecture Tour Information: https://research.amsi.org.au/amsi-lecturer
Australian Studies into Phone Apps
Professor Susan Murphy, Harvard University
Associate Professor Niranjan Bidargaddi, Flinders University
Professor Michael Baigent, member of the beyondblue Board of Directors
Professor Geoff Prince, AMSI Director
M: 04215 18733
P: +613 9035 3683