acoustic-based smartphone app predicts bipolar mood swings

Bipolar disorder is characterized by mood swings that can range from depressive lows to manic highs, and can affect energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. The standard of care and management is regular clinical appointments to determine if treatment is sufficient and effective. But there are currently no biological markers or measures that accurately and objectively quantify the severity of depression or intensity of mania.

University of Michigan researchers, Melvin McInnis, M.D., Emily Provost, Ph.D., Satinder Singh Baveja, Ph.D., and John Gideon, M.S. developed a program called Predicting Individual Outcomes for Rapid Intervention (PRIORI) that uses a smartphone app to record changes in acoustic features of speech (volume, speed, and pitch) as well as patterns of daily smartphone use among patients to predict impending mood changes.

Significant Need

PRIORI will move bipolar management to “prevention” mode from its current “intervention” mode.

Compelling Science

Innovative smartphone app uses acoustic features of speech and smartphone usage patterns to predict the probability of impending mood changes.

Competitive Advantage

PRIORI uses biological markers or measures through smartphone usage and speech patterns in order to quantify the severity of depression or intensity of mania in order to predict and treat impending mood changes. The current standard of care consists of regular clinical appointments to determine if treatment is sufficient and effective.

Commercialization Path

  • Intellectual Property – patent application submitted.
  • Commercialization Strategy – Formation of a commercial enterprise.
  • Regulatory Path – Will be seeking IDE from the FDA that will allow for clinical testing of an experimental device used to make health care decisions.
  • Engage Investors – Seek Venture and SBIR funding. NIMH Funding at the R01 level for ongoing scientific development.


  • 40 new patients recruited and provided with smartphones for the study, and initial assessments completed. All mobile devices optimized for use.
  • Continued monitoring of patients. Initial data analysis.
  • Completion of study and analysis of data.
  • Develop version of PRIORI for iPhone.
  • Form start-up company to market and support PRIORI.
  • Q316 Update: $300,000 follow-on funding, PRIORI (startup)



Melvin McInnis, M.D.

Emily Provost, Ph.D.

Satinder Singh Baveja, Ph.D.

John Gideon, M.S.


Bradley Martin, Ph.D.
Director, Fast Forward Medical Innovation

Download Project Overview
May 21, 2021