Effectiveness of a voice-based mental health evaluation system for mobile devices: prospective study

Masakazu Higuchi, Mitsuteru Nakamura, Shuji Shinohara, Yasuhiro Omiya, Takeshi Takano, Shunji Mitsuyoshi, Shinichi Tokuno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: We developed a system for monitoring mental health using voice data from daily phone calls, termed Mind Monitoring System (MIMOSYS), by implementing a method for estimating mental health status from voice data. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential of this system for detecting depressive states and monitoring stress-induced mental changes. Methods: We opened our system to the public in the form of a prospective study in which data were collected over 2 years from a large, unspecified sample of users. We used these data to analyze the relationships between the rate of continued use, the men-to-women ratio, and existing psychological tests for this system over the study duration. Moreover, we analyzed changes in mental data over time under stress from particular life events. Results: The system had a high rate of continued use. Voice indicators showed that women have more depressive tendencies than men, matching the rate of depression in Japan. The system’s voice indicators and the scores on classical psychological tests were correlated. We confirmed deteriorating mental health for users in areas affected by major earthquakes in Japan around the time of the earthquakes. Conclusions: The results suggest that although this system is insufficient for detecting depression, it may be effective for monitoring changes in mental health due to stress. The greatest feature of our system is mental health monitoring, which is most effectively accomplished by performing long-term time-series analysis of the acquired data considering the user’s life events. Such a system can improve the implementation of patient interventions by evaluating objective data along with life events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere16455
JournalJMIR Formative Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Mental health
  • Monitoring system
  • Stress evaluation
  • Voice analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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