Research Cases

Predicting and Preventing Depression

By November, 2017 No Comments

Paul Glimcher, Ph.D., Director, The Human Project; Julius Silver Professor of Neural Science, Economics, and Psychology and Director, Institute for the Study of Decision Making, New York University

Tyler Burleigh, Ph.D., Psychologist and Mobile Researcher, The Human Project

Date Published
November, 2017

Depression affects 25 million Americans every year. It is one of the leading causes of human misery and costs the nation $215 billion per year. It also causes nearly one million hospital stays in the United States annually, each of which costs about $7,000. Studies have demonstrated that many of these hospital stays are avoidable. It is possible to predict acute depressive episodes far enough in advance to prevent hospitalizations and suicides using smartphones and artificial intelligence. But this is true only if one has large, representative samples over long time horizons, with a wealth of social measurements. The Human Project is poised to overcome these limitations and, by 2020, will deliver a robust, field-worthy algorithm that will reduce costs, hospitalization rates and suicide rates, all at a cost that is a tiny fraction of what payer-providers pay today.