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California tests digital 'fire alarm' for mental distress

But the 7-slice program, which started a year ago, was delayed by the state due to an internal financial review of the state and concerns about some of the network of listeners. According to California officials, some listeners have had inappropriate text messaging with customers, have become too personal and have broken company rules. the issue is being processed, state officials said.

"We use a series of techniques and programs to identify, quantify, rehabilitate, block or prohibit harmful languages ​​and / or people who are harmful," said company founder and C.E.O., Glen Moriarty, by e-mail. He added: "We take the issues of privacy, privacy, security and all forms of harassment very seriously."

As for Mindstrong application, only Los Angeles County has distributed technology, a few dozen people who had keyboards installed last winter. Already, about half of them have stopped using the keyboard function. Some lost interest; others have struggled to adapt to newer keyboards (which work better on Android phones than iPhones). A number of users decided to enjoy the daily newspaper feature without the rest.

"The the counties are spend money on this programsaying, "Here it is awesome, we give you a Fitbit, "and we found that many of our people did not understand it very well," said Dawniell A. Zavala, General Counsel and Associate Director of Mental Health America in Northern California, Advocacy Group. patients. . "And they did not explain the possible disadvantages of handing over so many peoplelocal data. "

Any application manufacturer will likely need extensive data from thousands of users to begin adapting their product to the many permutations and combinations of mental disorders, as well as the idiosyncratic ways expressed in an individual's daily behavior. And access to patient medical records has been met with resistance in California.

"We said no – no access to electronic medical records for Los Angeles County, "said Ms. Myrick.

It is unclear whether other counties transmit these records and, if so, whether they have obtained consent from patients.

In the era of computer piracy and data breaches, technology companies that acquire both medical and surveillance data pose real risks to patient privacy. "If we are excited about the potential In terms of data, we should also be concerned about the risks, and these seem to be evolving faster than the scientific benefits, "said Dr. John Torous, director of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Division of Digital Psychiatry at Boston.

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