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News Medical. Music and machine learning are changing neuropsychiatric health, says LUCID

Music shapes our world — it’s the soundtrack of our lives and brings us together. LUCID, a Toronto-based tech company, is using the power of music to bring an innovative, non-invasive treatment to those suffering with mental health crises.

Zoe Thomson, CIO and co-founder of LUCID, explains to News Medical the work LUCID is doing to change healthcare’s approach to mental and neuropsychiatric health through music and machine learning.

“The system breaks a piece of music down into quantitative musical features and then uses deep reinforcement learning to predict the effects this piece of music will have on a listener,” explains Thomson.

As LUCID further develops their AI, their goal is to continue using it in two distinct ways: predicting the responses from a certain piece of music and a personalized playlist created by an intelligent music recommendation system that provides support for specific outcomes, like anxiety reduction.

“In practice, based on an individual’s current emotional state and the target outcome, the system delivers the optimal music intervention for their unique needs and responses to music. The results from each session are then leveraged to improve system performance over time, both at a population-wide and individual-specific level.”

With this information, LUCID can optimize the use of music for outcomes like anxiety reduction or mood improvement. Then, with the data, LUCID’s system better understands how and why music affects people’s mental and emotional states.

The biggest hurdle LUCID is facing — and working on uncovering — is the lack of research on how to most effectively personalize music interventions.

“Our focus at LUCID - looking deeper into the music informatics and leveraging cutting-edge machine learning techniques to better understand the specific features of music that predict outcomes at both a population-wide level and at an individual level,” explains Thomson. “There also aren't many studies on how music-based therapies can be supportive when delivered in combination with other treatments, which we’re actively researching in some of our digital health partnerships.”

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