A study conducted by researchers at the University of London has revealed that artificial-intelligence-powered chronic condition platform, Juli, uses technology to provide patients with information to effectively manage their long-term mental health disorders. According to a recent study, distressing psychological symptoms can be reduced by combining digital self-monitoring, AI, and targeted behavioral modifications. The technology was initially founded to support conditions that need specialized mental health treatment such as bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder is a chronic, recurrent episodic condition with high rates of hospitalization, suicide, and co-morbidity. The condition’s characteristics include periods of extremely low moods and high moods. In the United States, there are currently 11 million adults who experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives, which results in an economic burden of at least $195 billion annually. Despite the condition’s prevalence, there were very few clinically-based applications capable of assisting its treatment. Tech veteran Bettina Hein sought to address this issue with Juli. The application monitors behavioral patterns to identify triggers and help patients avoid manic-depressive cycles. For instance, juli may utilize location-based air quality data to warn users who are prone to depressed episodes to visit the gym that day rather than work out outside when the air quality is bad.
To test the validity of the application, a study was conducted using results from 208 users who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder by a clinician for a period of 6 months. The data was generated from two standard screening and diagnostic questionnaires commonly used in outpatient environments designed to evaluate presence and severity of manic symptoms and depression. The research revealed that 55.5 percent of Juli users reported a reduction in mania or hypomania following an 8 week use of the app. The research also found that user’s depression symptoms were dramatically reduced by 18.7 percent over the same time period.
“This is a very positive result for a population that has generally been underserved by digital health to date,” stated Joseph Hayes, co-founder of juli. “In my clinical work with people with bipolar disorder I’ve met many who have kept a record of their behavior and its impact on their condition for years, and it seemed to help them to prevent relapse. juli automates that process in a more clinically validated fashion as well as revealing patterns related to such things as weather and pollution that may be non-intuitive to our users.”