Conspiracy

Google's depression tool could lead to dangerous over-treatment and addiction to antidepressants, expert warns

Professor warns that the tool will lead to over-diagnosis, over-prescribing and misuse of data.

He says Google worked with antidepressant drug-maker Pfizer to make quiz that gives false positives.

Others say the tool is low-risk, and in line with national efforts to screen for depression.

Google’s screening tool that enables people to check online whether they are clinically depressed could do more harm than good, one expert has warned.
Last month, the tech giant released a self-assessment quiz, called the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), which pops up as a result for the search query ‘Am I depressed?’ on a computer or cell phone.

Google developed its test in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) but one professor claims that the quiz could just lead to over-treatment of depression amid the US’s opioid epidemic.

He warns the tool’s development was funded by major drug company Pfizer, which profits from the sale of antidepressants.

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