Clarigent, Children’s Home partner on AI-based decision support app

By | May 8, 2019

Health application developer Clarigent Health is teaming up with The Children’s Home of Cincinnati to complete a pilot study using Clarigent’s artificial intelligence powered mobile decision support app.

The platform works by analyzing linguistic and vocal characteristics of sessions between therapists or physicians, and patients to provide a near real-time assessment of a patient at risk for suicide or mental health conditions.

Clarigent’s application uses advanced algorithms to analyze linguistic and vocal characteristics collected during therapy sessions from clients of The Children’s Home, a provider of education and mental health treatment for children.

In the pilot, titled Classification and Assessment of Mental Health Performance Using Schematics, or CAMPUS, 20 therapists working in multiple elementary, middle and high school settings across southwest Ohio will deploy the mobile app to record regularly scheduled sessions with students.

“This technology has the potential to change how mental health services are administered on a global scale,” Children’s Home president and CEO John Banchy said in a statement.

While previous clinical studies have tested the technology in hospital and emergency room settings, with results published in peer-reviewed journals, CAMPUS marks the debut of the app in a school environment.

Participation in the pilot and recording requires the consent of the student and parent or guardian, and the schools have also granted consent.

The research team hopes to obtain 400 to 600 recordings in this initial phase, before progressing to a larger study in the fall involving several thousand students.

Clinicians, who make the ultimate decisions on treatment, can use the app’s assessment and recommendations to help inform and guide them.

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The goals for the pilot aim to show the app can be integrated into a normal therapy session without interfering with the session, and to ensure the app can receive audio of sufficient quality in a school setting to enable analysis by the app.

The fall study will include control participants from the general student population in addition to screening for a more diverse set of behavioral health conditions.

While initially focused on suicidality and mental health, Clarigent is looking at other areas – both inside and outside of healthcare – where its technology platform can also be leveraged.

In addition, Clarigent intends to conduct and publish additional studies supporting and underlying the rationale for the recommendations provided by the app to better enable clinicians to independently review the basis for the recommendations.

“This technology was invented in response to a need expressed by medical professionals who work with young people in crisis,” Clarigent Health CEO Don Wright said in a statement. “This study is an important first step in moving the technology from the hospital and research bench, into the real world where kids are every day.”

Nathan Eddy is a healthcare and technology freelancer based in Berlin.

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