“The NIH inventors have developed a mobile health technology to monitor and predict a user’s psychological status and to deliver an automated intervention when needed,” according to the notice published Wednesday. “The technology uses smartphones to monitor the user’s location and ask questions about psychological status throughout the day.”

“Continuously collected ambulatory psychological data are fused with data on location and responses to questions,” the NIH said. “The mobile data are combined with geospatial risk maps to quantify exposure to risk and predict a future psychological state. The future predictions are used to warn the user when he or she is at especially high risk of experiencing a negative event that might lead to an unwanted outcome (e.g., lapse to drug use in a recovering addict).”

The NIH said the technology has potential commercial applications for “real-time behavior monitoring” and “therapeutic delivery of an intervention via a mobile device.”