Under-diagnosis of depression and anxiety is common in older adults. This project took a mixed methods approach to explore the application of machine learning and technology for early detection of these conditions. Mood measures collected with digital technologies were used to predict depression and anxiety status according to the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Interactive group activities and interviews were used to explore views of older adults and healthcare professionals on this approach respectively. The results show good potential for using a machine learning approach with mood data to predict later depression, though prospective results are preliminary. Qualitative findings highlight motivators and barriers to use of mental health technologies, as well as usability issues. If consideration is given to these issues, this approach could allow alerts to be provided to healthcare staff to draw attention to service users who may go on to experience depression.
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