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PTSD-Monitoring App Captured the Psychological Effects of the Boston Bombing 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the protecting-the-mind dept.
the_newsbeagle writes "This DARPA-funded smartphone app is designed to monitor veterans for signs of depression and PTSD. It screens for signals of psychological distress in a number of ways; for example, the app looks for signs of social isolation (reduced number of phone calls and texts), physical isolation (the phone isn't leaving the house), and sleep disruption (the phone is used in the middle of the night). Interestingly, the company that invented the app was testing it in Boston at the time of the Boston marathon bombing, and reports that the app picked up signals of distress in the days after the attack."
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PTSD-Monitoring App Captured the Psychological Effects of the Boston Bombing

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  • was testing it in Boston at the time of the Boston marathon bombing, and reports that the app picked up signals of distress in the days after the attack."

    Would have been a bit more useful if it had picked up the stress in the days before the attack!

  • by maliqua (1316471) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @03:34PM (#44690299)

    or compliance meter? Pacification gauge?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One reason why the phone hasn't left the house in the Boston metro area was that the police locked down most of the city for a few days. Subway trains and buses weren't running. Logan international airport was open though.

    interesting article

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... the app looks for signs of social isolation (reduced number of phone calls and texts), physical isolation (the phone isn't leaving the house), and sleep disruption (the phone is used in the middle of the night).

    wouldn't this cover a lot of basement dwellers here on slashdot?

  • So if I forget my phone at home before heading out for the weekend are they going to think I have PTSD or depressed and then come to my home and take away any guns I own? How Orwellian...
  • I'm sure that the company had a number of normals -- people living someplace other than Boston (Singapore? London? Moscow?) -- to compare to their Boston subjects.

    Actually, I'm not very sure about that.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't have time for phone calls. Don't get out much. Up all night.

  • Maybe that is why the NSA is so intent on collecting the CDR (call detail records) data from Verizon, and others. Maybe it is really the meta data about the calls that they are after as a way to profile potential terrorists?

    Still don't like it, but at least this would be a logical thing for them to do.

  • The problem with this measurement is that it's only to be expected for there to be less activity at the time. When you take into account the heavy militarized police/military/occupational force that flooded into Boston, you have to expect that social communications and outings will decrease significantly.

    • The problem with this measurement is that it's only to be expected for there to be less activity at the time. When you take into account the heavy militarized police/military/occupational force that flooded into Boston, you have to expect that social communications and outings will decrease significantly.

      That and the effect of an illegal martial law being imposed and having troops in the streets pointing rifles at homeowners would have on former military suffering from PTSD.

  • Dozens of schools are shot up wry year in the u.s., death on the roads is in the thousands, and you're all running scared of a couple of twats that could have killed an order of magnitude more people by buying a rifle and shooting up a mall or cinema.

    • Dozens of schools are shot up wry year in the u.s.

      Citation needed; AFAIK, that actually only happens once every decade or so, it's not the norm by any measure.

      • by isorox (205688)

        Dozens of schools are shot up wry [every] year in the u.s.

        Citation needed; AFAIK, that actually only happens once every decade or so, it's not the norm by any measure.

        Wikipedia lists 14 school shootings so far this year.

        In the last 12 months, 7 incidents where people died:

        September 26, 2012 Stillwater, Oklahoma (suicide)
        December 14, 2012 Newtown, Connecticut (major news incident, highest number of deaths since 2007)
        January 15, 2013 Hazard, Kentucky (college parking lot)
        January 16, 2013 Chicago, Illinois (university parking lot)
        January 29, 2013 Midland City, Alabama (ok, a school bus, not a school)
        March 18, 2013 Orlando, Florida (university, killer was ready but cha

  • All the articles I found, linked from here or at second-level links, talked about "an app" or "the app" but never named, or linked to, any app. Maybe I'm missing something, but was this app only available for a short period of time, and now is no longer available?
  • by Seumas (6865)

    PTDS is such a cute and round-edged name intended to gloss over the harsh fact of shell-shock to the rest of society. "Hey, Johnny came back from life under nearly constant artillery strikes and having to see the most horrifying things for four years, but he just has PTSD which is super common and not a big deal".

    We used to call that shit shellshock. It was a strong word with striking connotations, for a reason.

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

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