Contribute to a better understanding of mood and depression

Your smartphone may be the key to unlocking a new understanding and treatment of mood and impact on overall health.

Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on life sciences and healthcare. Our mission is to make the world's health data useful so that people enjoy healthier lives.

Verily is seeking study participants who want to contribute to groundbreaking research on how smartphones may predict mood and behavior changes. The goal is to help develop more objective measures of depression that could lead to more personalized treatments.

The study

Over 12 weeks, you will contribute information about your feelings and behaviors through surveys in a mobile app and passive smartphone data.

Complete surveys and check-ins

We designed the mobile app to be as effortless as possible. Through short daily surveys and weekly voice recordings, you can help us better understand your:

  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Physical activity
  • Quality of life
  • Personal experience

Contribute simply by using your phone

Your smartphone collects useful information, such as the following, which may help us predict health changes:

  • Environmental data, such as light and air pressure
  • Activity data, such as step count and movement
  • Location data
  • Phone usage data, such as screen, network, and battery use

How will my data be protected?

We take your privacy and confidentiality seriously. While Google provides the computing, analytics, and data handling power, Google will not sell your information for advertising. All your information will be stored in a secure, encrypted database with restricted access.

See if you qualify

We are recruiting individuals both with and without a clinical diagnosis of depression. For individuals with depression, we are seeking participants who have started treatment with a doctor, therapist, or other clinician in the past two weeks.

Qualifications

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Age 19 years or older

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U.S. resident

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Able to speak and read English

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Own and use an Android (not iPhone) smartphone

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Have a Google Account or be willing to create one

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Not be an employee, temporary worker, vendor, or contractor at Alphabet or an affiliated company, or be an immediate family member of someone who is

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Agree to receive email and phone communication during the course of the study

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Agree to provide a mailing address to receive compensation for being in the study

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[Optional] If you have received a clinical diagnosis of depression: started treatment with a doctor, therapist, or other clinician in the past two weeks

Pat Arean, PhD Honor Hsin, MD PhD

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this study?

The intent of this study is to use smartphones to measure mood in real-time so that clinicians can proactively improve treatment of depression.

How long is the study?

The study lasts 12 weeks.

How is this part of Project Baseline?

Project Baseline is a broad effort to better understand health and prevent disease. The first initiative is a 10,000-person, four-year study focused on health and disease more generally. This study is a new, complementary initiative focused on measuring mood changes in real-time using smartphones. Additional initiatives will launch in the future.

What do I need to do to participate in the study?

You need to own and use an Android smartphone and have a Google Account or being willing to create one to participate in the study.

During this study, you are expected to keep the app running on your phone and to complete the following:

  • Rate your physical activity level and sleep every day (<1 min)
  • Rate your mood and effort required to complete daily chores / duties every other day (<2 min)
  • Complete a weekly survey about your mood and its impact on your daily life (<5 min)
  • Record a weekly voice log based on a prompt (<2 min)
  • Complete monthly surveys about your social function and life satisfaction (<15 min)

What is the daily time commitment?

Participants are expected to spend, on average, five minutes or less every day on study tasks.

Will this affect my insurance or medical services?

No. We will not share any information with your insurance or medical providers without your consent. You and your doctor will continue to make decisions about your care. Unfortunately, you will not be able to view or share the data collected in this study.

What data is being collected by the mobile app?

Data collected includes both your survey responses and phone sensor data.

We will only use this information for study purposes. Passive phone sensor data may include:

  • Environmental data, such as light and air pressure
  • Activity data, such as step count and movement
  • Location data
  • Phone usage data, such as screen, network, and battery use

Research studies suggest that these data can be predictive of mood. (Select references: Wang et al, 2014; Saeb et al, 2015; Place et al, 2017)

How will my data be protected?

We take your privacy and confidentiality seriously. The data you provide will be stored in a secure, encrypted database with restricted access only to authorized study personnel. Members of the study team who need to contact you will have access to directly identifying information (your name, street address, phone number, and email). Otherwise, we'll remove this information and replace it with a code number. This study has been approved by the Western Institutional Review Board, which protects the rights and safety of research participants. Please see our Privacy Policy for full details.

Will the mobile app improve my mood?

This study is observational, so the mobile app is not intended to be an intervention. Instead, it will monitor and track phone data that might be helpful in predicting mood. These findings could potentially help others suffering from depression in the future.

Can I see my data?

No, you won't be able to see the data that you contribute toward this study.