Digital phenotyping: A revolution or a privacy breach?

Published: January 20, 2019

Consider this situation: A family member starts avoiding social gatherings, doesn't respond to messages quickly, becomes isolated for long periods of time, and stays online late at night becoming sleep deprived.

You sense anxiety and depression in social media posts and you automatically wonder if your family member is undergoing some problems. That is the basis of digital phenotyping, a term coined by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health for the emerging field, which is focused on trying to assess people's well-being based on their interactions with digital devices, such as smartphones.

Phenotypes are physical traits such as eye or hair color, height, voice, metabolism, or shoe size, that are influenced by genotypes (and sometimes by external factors such as nutrition). Phenotyping is used in clinical applications such as the discovery of disease genes and pharmacogenomics.

In the digital era, researchers have joined hands with tech companies to monitor how people interact with the digital world to better understand their mood, cognition, and behavior. The vision is to analyze this data based on an individual's genetic makeup for a new level of behavioral observation.

Please read full article here: MedCity News

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