Medical technology company LivaNova has initiated a research collaboration with Alphabet company Verily to capture measures of depression within its RECOVER clinical study.

The study will aim to analyse the effectiveness of LivaNova’s Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy for difficult-to-treat depression (DTD).

This initial research collaboration will allow LivaNova to collect quantitative data on patient behaviour through the use of Verily’s technology and analytics.

Patients through RECOVER clinical sites will be offered wearable device Verily Study Watch to capture physiological and environmental data for clinical research, as well as a Verily mobile phone app.

Through these complementary methods, investigators will be able to gain a better understanding of the impact of depression, as well as its treatment on participants.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the principal causes of disability, morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite medications, a recorded one in three patients struggles with persistent feelings of hopelessness, sadness and poor sleep, as well as thoughts of suicide.

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Verily clinical science and neurology head Dr William Marks said: “Finding new solutions to help those who suffer from difficult-to-treat depression promises to truly transform patients’ lives.”

“We look forward to working with LivaNova to gather additional data and evidence on VNS Therapy for difficult-to-treat depression with the potential for collaboration on other areas of research in the future.”

A sub-study, which allows RECOVER participants with an Android device to opt-in, will measure passive and interactive data using the Verily Study Watch and a mobile phone app.

This data, along with the qualitative data, will better enable clinicians to gain a more comprehensive view of a patient’s condition.

Verily technology can offer measures such as activity level, heart rate, sleep quality and other areas of function including patient-recorded voice logs, aimed to assess depression and its effect on the daily lives of the patients.