Mood Tracking apps are built on the foundation where mental health meets Artificial Intelligence (AI). The interest of people and big companies regarding such apps is growing rapidly over the past few years. Applications for mood tracking have been developed with an understanding that it is important to develop technical solutions to help self-manage mental wellbeing. There are two types of mood tracking apps:
- Many of these apps rely on self-reporting by the user, as it is done while maintaining mood journals to aid in the therapeutic process. In general, these apps allow users to monitor their mood during the day, and the regularity of mood updates dictates data reliability and accuracy.
- The other types of mood tracking apps use machine learning to track moods and automated mood trackers detect one’s mood as it changes throughout the day in response to sustained laptop use, and provides users with measurable evaluations of their mood and what it shapes. Strategies such as analyzing micro-facial expression, examining human-machine interactions – such as patterns of swiping and clicking – are some biomarkers used to foretell and provide mental health status.
Such applications for mood tracking have been created both for general mental health care and for specific disorders. But such apps involve issues such as data breaches, privacy concerns, transparency and consent matters, and also Hawthrone effect (Refers to human tendency of changing their behavior when they are made aware that they are being monitored)
However, these apps can prove to be a great boon during the current lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this lockdown, most people are spending more time in front of their TV and mobile screens, and are cooped up in their houses which can adversely affect their mental health. So mood tracking apps help to understand the excessive cognitive distortions and patterns of the internet and screens which affects our mental health. Mental health is of great concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the growing focus on digital media has definitely raised concerns about the ill effects of increased screen time. In the post-COVID world, this has increased the buzz surrounding mood trackers and the potential benefits they can bring.