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Eduardo Gil & Raquel Bailón

Funding agency

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects 7% of adult population in Europe every year. MDD is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and it is a major cause of disability and loss of quality of life. Depression represents high costs for the Health System, including direct (medical treatment, care and rehabilitation) and indirect (work disability and loss of productivity) nature. One of the main challenges in depression remains the monitoring of disease evolution, which is of paramount importance in recurrent and treatment-resistant depression.

In our previous project PgSAMD (Physiologically guided signal analysis for ambulatory monitoring of depression) we developed a multimodal approach for improving the characterization of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) in order to obtain reliable markers for MDD monitoring by combining information from different physiological signals. The specific tools designed were oriented to ambulatory monitoring. The aim of this proof of concept is to develop and validate a marketable product consisting on a MDD monitoring system based on a smartphone app that can be used as standalone or together with wearable devices, and that includes the tests that are required for the evaluation of autonomic reactivity; and a cloud-computing implementation of the novel biomarkers developed during our previous project.

This product will allow clinicians and patients a follow-up of the disease which will facilitate the detection and prevention of relapses of recurrent depression and treatment-resistant depression. A commercial viability analysis will be conducted in order to determine the uncovered needs existing in MDD monitoring field. The system is developed using design methods and based on commercial wearables, to be able to monitor MDD patients at any time, in any place and adapted to the needs of their daily life.