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In Scientific reports

Depressive disorder (DD) is a mental illness affecting more than 300 million people worldwide, whereas social stigma and subtle, variant symptoms impede diagnosis. Psychomotor retardation is a common component of DD with a negative impact on motor function, usually reflected on patients' routine activities, including, nowadays, their interaction with mobile devices. Therefore, such interactions constitute an enticing source of information towards unsupervised screening for DD symptoms in daily life. In this vein, this paper proposes a machine learning-based method for discriminating between subjects with depressive tendency and healthy controls, as denoted by self-reported Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) compound scores, based on typing patterns captured in-the-wild. The latter consisted of keystroke timing sequences and typing metadata, passively collected during natural typing on touchscreen smartphones by 11/14 subjects with/without depressive tendency. Statistical features were extracted and tested in univariate and multivariate classification pipelines to reach a decision on subjects' status. The best-performing pipeline achieved an AUC = 0.89 (0.72-1.00; 95% Confidence Interval) and 0.82/0.86 sensitivity/specificity, with the outputted probabilities significantly correlating (>0.60) with the respective PHQ-9 scores. This work adds to the findings of previous research associating typing patterns with psycho-motor impairment and contributes to the development of an unobtrusive, high-frequency monitoring of depressive tendency in everyday living.

Mastoras Rafail-Evangelos, Iakovakis Dimitrios, Hadjidimitriou Stelios, Charisis Vasileios, Kassie Seada, Alsaadi Taoufik, Khandoker Ahsan, Hadjileontiadis Leontios J