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Opinion

A New Characterization of Mental Health Disorders Using Digital Behavioral Data: Evidence from Major Depressive Disorder

by 1,* and 2,3
1
Taliaz Ltd., Tel Aviv-Yafo 6801294, Israel
2
EPSYLON—Psychiatric Care Network, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
3
Laboratory of Psychological Medicine and Addictology, Faculty of Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michele Roccella
J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10(14), 3109; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10143109
Received: 13 June 2021 / Revised: 8 July 2021 / Accepted: 10 July 2021 / Published: 14 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Clinical Psychology)
Mental health disorders are ambiguously defined and diagnosed. The established diagnosis technique, which is based on structured interviews, questionnaires and data subjectively reported by the patients themselves, leaves the mental health field behind other medical areas. We support these statements with examples from major depressive disorder (MDD). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project in 2009 as a new framework to investigate psychiatric pathologies from a multidisciplinary point of view. This is a good step in the right direction. Contemporary psychiatry considers mental illnesses as diseases that manifest in the mind and arise from the brain, expressed as a behavioral condition; therefore, we claim that these syndromes should be characterized primarily using behavioral characteristics. We suggest the use of smartphones and wearable devices to passively collect quantified behavioral data from patients by utilizing digital biomarkers of mental disorder symptoms. Various digital biomarkers of MDD symptoms have already been detected, and apps for collecting this longitudinal behavioral data have already been developed. This quantified data can be used to determine a patient’s diagnosis and personalized treatment, and thereby minimize the diagnosis rate of comorbidities. As there is a wide spectrum of human behavior, such a fluidic and personalized approach is essential. View Full-Text
Keywords: digital phenotyping; digital biomarkers; personalized psychiatry; Research Domain Criteria; major depressive disorder digital phenotyping; digital biomarkers; personalized psychiatry; Research Domain Criteria; major depressive disorder
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MDPI and ACS Style

Taliaz, D.; Souery, D. A New Characterization of Mental Health Disorders Using Digital Behavioral Data: Evidence from Major Depressive Disorder. J. Clin. Med. 2021, 10, 3109. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10143109

AMA Style

Taliaz D, Souery D. A New Characterization of Mental Health Disorders Using Digital Behavioral Data: Evidence from Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10(14):3109. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10143109

Chicago/Turabian Style

Taliaz, Dekel, and Daniel Souery. 2021. "A New Characterization of Mental Health Disorders Using Digital Behavioral Data: Evidence from Major Depressive Disorder" Journal of Clinical Medicine 10, no. 14: 3109. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm10143109

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