Boston-based digital health technology company and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs use smartphones to conduct risk assessment of Navy sailors’ mental health and wellness

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CompanionMx™, Inc., a digital health technology company providing a platform to sense, understand and prevent mental health episodes, today announced the launch of a forthcoming study with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, with funding support from the Department of Defense, entitled, “Facilitating Assessment of At-Risk Sailors with Technology (FAAST).” FAAST will evaluate the efficacy of the Companion™ System, based on a smartphone-enabled, upstream suicide prevention intervention in active duty naval personnel.

“Since the beginning, we have worked to serve the behavioral health community through objective and continuous monitoring of behavioral health symptoms that lead to mood disorder episodes. Active duty military personnel need a discreet and non-stigmatizing way to help proactively identify suicide-related thoughts,” said Sub Datta, CEO of CompanionMx. “We’re honored to have this opportunity to facilitate improved outcomes to these service members who’ve dedicated their lives to our country.”

The FAAST study will leverage the Companion™ System as an evidence-based, mobile-first, proactive approach to monitoring and interpreting behavioral patterns related to smartphone use and voice analysis. Through active monitoring of voice analytics and passive monitoring of other smartphone metadata, the Companion technology produces both acoustic and behavioral digital biomarkers of core symptoms associated with mood and anxiety disorders. The digital biomarkers will be securely collected from Android-based smartphones and monitored daily by research clinicians via The Companion Dashboard to facilitate outreach and intervention as needed.

“The goal of the study is to use the Companion™ System to identify patterns of behaviors related to distress, depression, post-traumatic stress and suicide-related thoughts among soldiers as they transition to civilian life,” said Carl D. Marci, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of CompanionMx. “Data collected from the soldiers’ smartphones and sent to the dashboard will be used to help intervene before these symptoms become life-threatening. Outcomes from this study will be instrumental to informing possible future support for the transition from uniformed service to civilian life by ensuring the right care, at the right level is delivered at the right time for improved outcomes.”

Naval personnel experience disproportionate levels of anxiety, stress and suicidal ideation while deployed – impacting periods of post-deployment transition which are times of heightened risk for suicidality. The FAAST study aims to evaluate more than 950 active duty naval personnel in the post-deployment period. The study is in partnership with the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

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About CompanionMx

CompanionMx, Inc. is a digital health technology company with a proven platform for proactive mobile mental health monitoring for better clinical outcomes. Born out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab and validated through multiple clinical trials at Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals and Veterans Affairs clinics, the Companion System uses active monitoring of voice and passive monitoring of other smartphone metadata to continuously produce acoustic and behavioral biomarkers that predict core symptoms of mood and anxiety disorders. CompanionMx is headquartered in Boston. Learn more at


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