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High frequency of assessment of mood and cognition in major depressive disorder using Apple Watch

Patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) frequently experience cognitive problems such as inattention and memory complaints. These are often under-recognised and may affect patients’ ability to accurately self-report symptoms. High-frequency, near-patient testing may aid communication between patients and clinicians by overcoming challenges such as recall bias.

This research, presented at CNS Summit 2017, aimed to assess the feasibility, accuracy and acceptability of daily assessments of cognition and mood implemented on an Apple Watch in participants with MDD.


In total, 30 participants between 18 and 65 years of age with mild-moderate single or recurrent major depressive episode (MDE) prescribed antidepressant monotherapy were enrolled.

Brief cognitive (n-back) and mood tests were administrated daily through the Cognition Kit application on Apple Watch in a single-arm, unblended, six-week observational study.


This study found that near-patient testing using wearable devices is feasible and well-tolerated by patients with depression, with excellent compliance being achieved. Good correspondence with patient-reported outcomes and objective measure was shown, providing a novel, patient-centric methodology for frequent assessment of a range of symptoms.

Interested in learning more about using the Apple Watch to conduct high-frequency assessment of mood and cognition in MDD? Download this poster.


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