Smartphone App Detects Your State of Mental Health

Researchers at Dartmouth College have developed a smartphone app designed to track a person’s mental health.

The program is called StudentLife, and it “compares students’ happiness, stress, depression and lonliness to their academic performance.”

It can also be used with the general population.

Simply put, StudentLife can determine whether a person is happy or sad by detecting his or her activities throughout the day.

The app utilizes sensors on the phone to determine such things as how long a person sleeps, engages in conversations and sits in silence. In the study, the app was tested over the course of 10 weeks by a group of 48 students. The data collected by the app is compared to information from clinical surveys on mental health to determine a user’s state of mind.

Andrew Campbell, a Professor of Computer Science and the study’s senior author, said, “What is the impact of stress, mood, workload, sociability, sleep, and mental health on academic performance? To shine a light on student life, we developed the first-of-a-kind smartphone app and sensing system to automatically infer human behavior.”

The app was designed for college students, but researchers feel it can be used “to monitor mental health, trigger intervention and improve productivity in workplace employees.”


About John Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers long distance and cell phone topics for SaveOnPhone.