Ann Conkle
Mar 15, 2012

Smartphones aid in schizophrenia treatment

Psychiatry is employing smartphone technology as an innovative tool in the assessment and treatment of schizophrenia and other serious mental illness. Prominent in this endeavor is Dror Ben-Zeev, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School and director of the Thresholds-Dartmouth Research Center in Chicago. In a new study, Ben-Zeev and his colleagues evaluated a range of approaches, including the use of mobile phones to gather information about patients' symptoms, moods and medication use. The phones could then be used to deliver real-time, real-world interventions, such as prompts to take medication or engage in healthy behaviors like diet, exercise or stress-reducing activities. "We are using the technology that is already in your pocket to create a completely new medium for psychotherapeutic intervention," says Ben-Zeev. "You can have therapy with you and accessible to you whenever and wherever you have the need, potentially anywhere in the world."