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Science and Technology

Prototype app to monitor depression


Researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs pitched innovative ideas ranging from depression, diabetes, and cleaner energy from cow manure. The researchers met at the Mansanto Auditorium at the University of Missouri for the 4th annual 2013 Tech Expo. The products that could derive from the Expo include smart phone apps and micro-chip fiber processors. Keynote speaker Han Chen is the Managing Director of Kapyon Ventures LLC.

“The only thing that can change fundamentally how we as a country survive and progress is technology,” Chen said.

He went on to say food, fuels and health should be the primary focus for future innovators.

One of those innovations is an app to fight psychiatric disorders. Licensing and patent associate at the University of Missouri of Science and Technology Vera Anderson is one of these innovators. Anderson presented her findings at the expo, focusing on tracking and identifying the symptoms of depression to create a larger picture of the disorder.

“You might be in fight with your husband this morning and you go in and you feel like you are depressed, but in fact it is not depression right?" Anderson said, "But if you track it over the period of time or your sleeping habits, you don’t even notice this but you go look back three months ago and you say ‘My goodness I didn’t sleep enough. I slept just four hours a day and that’s why I am depressed. No wonder why’ right? So this is what the whole application is about.” 

She compared the purpose of the app to a diabetic tracking their blood sugar over time to monitor their disease. She hopes to create many more apps to help treat other diagnoses such as sleep, eating and mental disorders.