Sage supported app that tracks bipolar manic, depressive episodes has won the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Mood Challenge for ResearchKit.
May 16, 2017 – A team led by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, along with collaborators at the University of Michigan and Sage Bionetworks, has won the Mood Challenge for ResearchKit, a contest that called on researchers to come up with new ways to study mood disorders using Apple’s ResearchKit, an open-source platform for creating iOS apps.
BiAffect, which unobtrusively monitors mobile device usage, including keyboard dynamics such as typing speed to predict manic and depressive episodes in people with bipolar disorder, was developed by a team led by Dr. Alex Leow, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine and professor of bioengineering and computer science, and Peter Nelson, professor of computer science and dean of the UIC College of Engineering.
The BiAffect team will receive the $200,000 grand prize to continue to refine and launch their app in the App Store. The Mood Challenge is a New Venture Fund program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The vision for BiAffect is for it to serve as a kind of ‘fitness tracker’ for the brain,” said Leow. “The Mood Challenge helped us to realize this vision, and the finished app will be a first-of-its kind tool for researchers to study mood disorders and even cognitive disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.” BiAffect would also help researchers determine the efficacy of different treatments for bipolar and other mood disorders.