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March 15, 2022 Tuesday 12:54:06 PM IST

Smart Watches to Monitor OCD

Researchers at the University of Basel are collecting data to investigate whether smartwatches can be used to help with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in the context of compulsive hand washing during the pandemic. Hand washing has become more than just a routine measure for many and they feel they must comply with it for fear of something terrible happening. The scientists are examining whether sensors on standard commercially available smartwatches can be used to distinguish between routine and compulsive hand washing. In a study of 21 volunteers, it was found sensors in smartwatches were able to distinguish compulsive handwashing with acceptable sensitivity (84%). However, specificity was low, the watch identified only 30% of the non-compulsive handwashing accurately. The study has become the starting point for further research to optimize the use of smartwatches.