Reaping the Benefits of POD™: Using Personal Data to Treat Psychiatric Disorders
By Dr. Emily Grovenor
Some unexpected potential side benefits of POD have come out of most recent tests. In addition to balancing chemicals in the body, POD can be used as a 24/7 data-mining organism that monitors habits and needs. When used with all members of a closed system, POD can also create an interconnected web of individual data streams, providing objective insight into social dynamics.
We never intended POD as an intelligent personal sensor. More than the current sensors for the mass market, POD can entangle with your body’s central nervous system and combine data and intelligence towards a number of tasks:
- Convert biological responses to environmental data (temperature, sleep/wake cycles, changes in air quality that indicate cooking/bathing, nutrition, exercise, etc.)
- Monitor emotional responses and link these feelings with individual activities and/or interpersonal dynamics (e.g. raising of voices at 11:55pm for 5 min is followed by sadness for subject A and joy for subject B)
- From a psychiatric perspective, POD can administer medication on regular or as-needed doses (e.g. when Essential Tremor spikes by 30% and temperature rises by 1 degree, administer 500mg of Ativan)
- Combine social behavioral data and individual personal emotional data to discern a psychiatric problem from a situational one
This last case is quite interesting. Abstracting our case studies, I can see potential for POD to revolutionize psychiatry by discerning psychiatric problems from cultural ones. We can treat sick people, but how do you treat a sick system? POD may be able to help.
Probing this question, we did a simple 3-month case study on depression and females. In North America, females are diagnosed with depression 70% more often than males. To what extent are the contributing factors biological and/or situational?
An interesting correlation that emerged was between depression and housework. Within 15 households of 2-4 people, the person who did 80% or more of the housework felt anger while performing the housework about 70% of the time. This subject also experienced higher rates of depression, diagnosis of depression, and prescription of anti-depressant medications. This subject was also always female aside from one male in an all male household.
Wanting to look at the isolation factor, we wove the question, "how much of the housework do you think you do?" into a q&a testing module. On average, subjects who in reality completed 15% or less of the housework reported completing "about half."
We’ve yet to turn up a medical report that lists inequality in housework as a causal factor in depression. My opinion is that the barrier is financial and technological. Proving cultural causes to psychiatric problems requires entire societies to be dipped in data – something POD could provide.
Additionally, POD is the only data-mining organism on the market that can provide individual clients with 100% privacy, data security, and control over how one’s data is used. POD’s bionanohybrid interface renders outside data analytics obsolete. Lastly, POD’s natural language feature can ensure customers have conscious understanding of all risks and implications.
While we’re still in the early stages of testing, we think this side benefit of POD as a data-mining organism could appeal to an untapped customer base that prefers realism to idealism. (POD’s primary purpose as an entertainment recommendation engine appeals to the latter group.)
Most importantly, these recent findings are sufficient to support the next round of testing around healthcare benefits and corporate services in the healthcare industry. For the price of a one-time insertion fee per individual, POD could be covered under Health Canada and many US insurance plans.
Dr. Emily Grovenor is a neuroscientist who joins BMC Labs as the Director for Education Initiatives. Previously, she held the position of regional director at the Sacramento Institute of Biotechnology Education and Research and was an adjunct professor at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Emily Grovenor obtained her PhD in Neuroscience from Northwestern and wrote her thesis on "Personal Data and BioNanoHybrid Technology". To learn more about Dr. Emily Grovenor’s research, visit her online Udemy course: BioNanoHybrids™ 101.