Bipolar Sufferers Monitor Moods Online describes an Australian clinical study now recruiting participants to test an innovative web site.

Dr. Caryl Barnes of the Black Dog Institute said, “We think constant support and advice online will help balance things out and make people feel like they’re becoming an expert in their own illness… It’s been very carefully written because obviously information must be given in a positive, empowering way “

The world-first study requires participants to log on to the program website regularly over 12 months, weekly at first and then less frequently. Each time they fill out a battery of multi-choice questionnaires about their mood and the program graphs their results, giving them advice and a picture of how they’re doing.

A form of automated e-therapy, this is an encouraging step toward more and better mental health resources online. Imagine taking it a few steps further with daily mood charts and medication tracking along with surveys and diagnostic scales to closely monitor cycles, reacting to changes big and small with appropriate information. There’s also a great deal of potential for responsive systems incorporating AI functions, online searches and e-charts.

In the meantime, this study’s human researchers will be personally monitoring data and contacting doctors if warranted, not automated emails.