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Beckwith Institute Award

Beckwith Institute Award Supports Development of App 
to Improve Monitoring of Youth with Mood Disorders



The Beckwith Institute has awarded funding to Dr. Rasim Diler to develop an interactive web-based tool to monitor mood and energy changes in youth, and foster mutual decision-making about diagnosis and treatment.  Dr. Diler is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Director of the Inpatient Child and Adolescent Bipolar Services (In-CABS) program.

The Beckwith Institute Clinical Transformation Program awards support projects targeting quality improvement and shared decision making, and bringing the patient, family and care team closer to better serve our community.  The goal of Dr. Diler’s project is to transform how patients can better participate in their assessment and treatment, and improve the connection and partnership between patients, families, and physicians regarding diagnostic and treatment decisions using new technology.  Clinical leaders Drs. Kenneth Nash, Frank Ghinassi, and Camellia Herisko will supervise the implementation of the project at WPIC.

“This interactive web-based platform has the potential to visualize the course of mood and energy in real‐time that in turn can foster mutual decision about diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Diler.  “It also could serve as a model for other programs.”  

Mood monitoring is analogous to blood sugar/pressure monitoring; however, there is very limited empirical knowledge about effective and objective mood monitoring. Dr. Diler and his colleagues revised the -10 to +10 “mood and energy thermometer” tool they currently use to include new ratings for anger and anxiety.  Adolescents in the In-CABS program will enter their ratings twice a day using an interactive touch-wall projector on the inpatient unit, and the ratings will be shared with clinicians and those family members involved in patient care decisions.  The web‐based platform includes an "alert my treatment team" mechanism for high score entries as well as "voice command" and "simplify me" options to engage diverse populations. The ratings are sent in real‐time via email/text to parents and physicians and be also available in a secure database for future access from computers or smartphones.  The results of the project may also lead to future applications of the technology, such as developing smartphone applications for outpatient populations.