What You Measure: Behavioral Vital Signs™

What You Measure: Behavioral Vital Signs™

With depression, you lose interest in your hobbies, your relationships, and your future. Does it all come back? Does it take time? It’s not like you just wake up “happy” one day. So, how does it progress?

When it comes to understanding your depression, having a clear, objective measurement is just as important as monitoring blood pressure or cholesterol for physical health. But when the day-to-day is so hard, how can you even begin to understand your mental health? We created Behavioral Vital Signs™ as a clinically validated measurement of your mental health. Now, you can turn the confusing aspects of your mental health into concrete, actionable data.

What are Behavioral Vital Signs™?

Behavioral Vital Signs provide a snapshot of your mental health at any given time by using passive sensing and in-app surveys. You’ll better understand your mental health severity based on these measurements:

  • Social mobility 
  • Sleep duration
  • Out-of-bed time 
  • Walking rate

Passive sensing is a way to measure your daily activities without requiring you to actively do anything. Just like an Apple Watch tracks your steps, you’ll use the Health Rhythms app to track various aspects of behavior and physical activity from your phone sensors. You’ll track your sleep, activity levels, and social engagement as a clinically supported measurement of your mental health.

Learn how your daily routines and habits impact your overall mental health with science-backed insights.

The idea is that by observing these patterns, our technology can pick up on changes that might be related to your mental health. For instance, if you usually have a regular pattern of movement but then you start to move less and less, it could be a sign that you’re feeling unwell or experiencing a change in mood.

This kind of sensing is "passive" because it doesn't interrupt your day or require you to do tasks like filling out surveys; it simply works in the background while you go about your daily life. We know it feels like everything you do takes up so much energy right now. This is a low-effort way to track your symptoms. 

Now, let’s talk about the part that does require your input–surveys. Just like a thermometer measures temperature, these symptom rating scales assess your mental health through a set of questions you answer in your Health Rhythms app.

These questions are designed to evaluate symptoms related to common mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, or stress. We didn’t just make them up–they’re clinically validated tools to measure depression severity. You may have filled one out at your last therapy visit. For example, you might be asked how often you've felt hopeful about the future or if you've had trouble concentrating on tasks.

We make it easy to complete these surveys in the app by sending you reminders to fill them out, and formatting them so you can do them right from your phone. They should only take a minute or two! Your responses are then displayed on your monthly report, allowing you and your healthcare provider to track changes over time.

Why is measuring mental health important?

Everybody’s seeking to understand themselves and to feel understood. Your Behavioral Vital Signs™ help pinpoint changes in your mental health, allowing you and your healthcare provider to see whether your treatment is working or if adjustments are needed. It makes the treatment process more transparent, helping to avoid guesswork and subjective judgment.

No more showing up to your appointment trying to remember how you felt in between visits. This method means that any decisions made between you and your care provider are based on solid evidence of what’s actually happening with your mental health.

Empowering you in your own care

One of the biggest advantages of Behavioral Vital Signs™ is that they empower you in your own care process. You become more attuned to your mental health condition. This awareness is key in recognizing early signs of relapse or recovery, making you an active participant in your own care rather than a passive recipient.

Just as regular blood pressure monitoring can prevent heart attacks, tracking your Behavioral Vital Signs™ can prevent mental health crises and improve overall well-being. You’ll be stronger on some days than others. You can start feeling like yourself again. With a clear, measurable way to monitor progress your treatment can now be more aligned with your personal needs.