Fitbit is doubling down on mental health with a new patent for future fitness trackers.
While the patent does not specify the type of mental health issues it is working on, there are mentions of depression and bipolar, and how a future Fitbit device can "screen for and predict mental health issues and cognitive states".
Current Fitbit devices rely on resting heart rate and sleep data to provide an estimate of the user's mental health through the Stress Management feature, but the new patent adds a gamification element and an opt-in feature to examine the user's voice over an "extended analytical period". This will be used in conjunction with "machine learning trained algorithms and individual event predictions".
The technology explored in the new patent is led by Conor Heneghan, who is Google's Senior Staff Research Scientist at the forefront of developing many sleep-related features. With mental health being a major issue during this pandemic, Fitbit may be able to offer consumers affordable devices which can offer more insights into their psychological well-being.
This article was first published in Hardware Zone.