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Cogito & MGH Announce New Population Health Initiative

Steve Kraus

Cogito and Prestigious Hospital’s MoodNetwork to Enable Continuous Understanding of Depression and Bipolar Symptoms for Long-Term Care and Support of Patients

Boston, MA – February 24, 2016 – Cogito Corp., the leader in real-time behavioral signals analytics, in partnership with Mass. General Hospital’s (MGH) MoodNetwork, a nationwide patient-powered research network for depression and bipolar disorder, today announced a new, federally funded research initiative aimed at understanding and addressing the major disease trajectories for depression and bipolar disorder. The initiative is funded through a $1.8 million grant provided by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 350 million people suffer from depression globally, while the NIMH reports that bipolar disorder affects more than 5.7 million American adults.

Open to 1,000 MoodNetwork participants, the initiative will provide real-time mood feedback to patients based on daily audio diaries recorded via Cogito Companion, an application on patients’ mobile devices. The initiative will track key behavioral indicators, such as physical isolation, social connectedness and fatigue – the major symptom groups for mood disorder – creating a crucial health data set aimed at bettering the experiences of people with depression and bipolar disorder.

“While many expect that physical disorders would solely account for disability, major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder are among the top causes globally,” said Dr. Andrew A. Nierenberg, MD, the Thomas P. Hackett, MD, Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, Director of the Bipolar Research Program at MGH, and principal investigator of MoodNetwork. “The goal of this initiative is to understand symptom relapse over the lifecycle of these conditions and offer long-term care and support options for patients. With the yearly combined annual cost of depression and bipolar disorder at greater than $200 billion, we hope to bend the care and cost curve with the help of behavioral analytics synched to this patient population.”

“The current practice of relying on patient-reported mood ratings via periodic surveys poses a number of limitations to the collected data,” said Dr. Thilo Deckersbach, Associate Director of the Bipolar Clinic and Research Program and Site Principal Investigator of the study at MGH. “As such, it is our hope that this inclusive and comprehensive approach to tracking and understanding mood disorders will enable our clinical teams to better assess and understand the disease state and ultimately improve real-world outcomes for millions of patients.”

“This research initiative is an exciting opportunity to positively impact on the lives of those struggling with mental illness,” said Joshua Feast, CEO of Cogito. “We are pleased the behavioral data gathered via our mobile application and analyzed via our behavior models will help medical professionals gain insights into the course and relapse patterns of these major mood disorders, and patients will gain a better understanding of their own health.”

Cogito’s predictive behavioral models are built on hundreds of millions of behavioral data points, validated through work with NIMH, the Defense Advanced Research Program Agency (DARPA), the US Department of Veterans Affairs, academic research partners, and commercial organizations.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R44MH107065. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About Cogito

Cogito enables organizations to demonstrate better care through novel behavioral analytics collected from voice conversations and mobile devices. Our applications help build an emotional connection between individuals and provide real-time insights into a phone agent’s performance, a customer’s experience and a patient’s need for care. Cogito’s behavioral insights have been proven effective by hundreds of millions of behavioral data points, gathered through work with government agencies and commercial organizations.

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About MoodNetwork

MoodNetwork is the first online, patient-powered research network for mood disorders. Its mission is to bring together people who live with mood disorders, doctors, and researchers in a collaborative effort to find better, more effective treatments for these conditions. By working together with patients, doctors can learn how patients feel about their care, and researchers can design and conduct studies that are informed by patients’ needs. By assembling a large pool of data about mood disorders, MoodNetwork makes it easier to study competing treatments for mood disorders, determine which treatment is best overall, and tailor treatments to the individual patient. Participants in MoodNetwork can track their progress and share information that will help determine the short- and long-term results of treatments, including how well the treatments work and how they experience side effects.

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About Massachusetts General Hospital

Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $800 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine. In July 2015, MGH returned to the number one spot on the 2015-16 U.S. News & World Report list of “America’s Best Hospitals.”

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