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BACKGROUND: Internet of Things (IoT) devices for remote monitoring, diagnosis, and treatment are widely viewed as an important future direction for medicine, including for bipolar disorder and other mental illness. The number of smart, connected devices is expanding rapidly. IoT devices are being introduced in all aspects of everyday life, including devices in the home and wearables on the body. IoT devices are increasingly used in psychiatric research, and in the future may help to detect emotional reactions, mood states, stress, and cognitive abilities. This narrative review discusses some of the important fundamental issues related to the rapid growth of IoT devices. MAIN BODY: Articles were searched between December 2019 and February 2020. Topics discussed include background on the growth of IoT, the security, safety and privacy issues related to IoT devices, and the new roles in the IoT economy for manufacturers, patients, and healthcare organizations. CONCLUSIONS: The use of IoT devices will increase throughout psychiatry. The scale, complexity and passive nature of data collection with IoT devices presents unique challenges related to security, privacy and personal safety. While the IoT offers many potential benefits, there are risks associated with IoT devices, and from the connectivity between patients, healthcare providers, and device makers. Security, privacy and personal safety issues related to IoT devices are changing the roles of manufacturers, patients, physicians and healthcare IT organizations. Effective and safe use of IoT devices in psychiatry requires an understanding of these changes.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Bipolar Disord

Publication Date





Bipolar disorder, Internet of things, Privacy, Psychiatry, Security