By Clifton Leaf and Sy Mukherjee
May 10, 2017

Greetings, readers. Sy at your service.

Dr. Tom Insel, the former head of the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), has left his relatively new perch at Google life sciences arm Verily in order to launch his own digital health company called Mindstrong, Nature reports. Like some of Verily’s psychology-centered projects, Mindstrong will focus on “digital phenotyping”—a high-tech method of detecting signs of mental illness through how users interact with devices.

That might mean sensing irregularities in smartphone typing patterns or word choice that might mean someone is feeling suicidal or depressed, and then directing that person to emergency resources (or alerting next of kin). I’ll be speaking with Dr. Insel later today to discuss his new firm’s ambitions.

In the meantime, Verily plans to continue its own mental health efforts, which will now be run by clinical psychologist Danielle Schlosser.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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