skip to main content


Title: mPulse Mobile Sensing Model for Passive Detection of Impulsive Behavior: Exploratory Prediction Study
Background Mobile health technology has demonstrated the ability of smartphone apps and sensors to collect data pertaining to patient activity, behavior, and cognition. It also offers the opportunity to understand how everyday passive mobile metrics such as battery life and screen time relate to mental health outcomes through continuous sensing. Impulsivity is an underlying factor in numerous physical and mental health problems. However, few studies have been designed to help us understand how mobile sensors and self-report data can improve our understanding of impulsive behavior. Objective The objective of this study was to explore the feasibility of using mobile sensor data to detect and monitor self-reported state impulsivity and impulsive behavior passively via a cross-platform mobile sensing application. Methods We enrolled 26 participants who were part of a larger study of impulsivity to take part in a real-world, continuous mobile sensing study over 21 days on both Apple operating system (iOS) and Android platforms. The mobile sensing system (mPulse) collected data from call logs, battery charging, and screen checking. To validate the model, we used mobile sensing features to predict common self-reported impulsivity traits, objective mobile behavioral and cognitive measures, and ecological momentary assessment (EMA) of state impulsivity and constructs related to impulsive behavior (ie, risk-taking, attention, and affect). Results Overall, the findings suggested that passive measures of mobile phone use such as call logs, battery charging, and screen checking can predict different facets of trait and state impulsivity and impulsive behavior. For impulsivity traits, the models significantly explained variance in sensation seeking, planning, and lack of perseverance traits but failed to explain motor, urgency, lack of premeditation, and attention traits. Passive sensing features from call logs, battery charging, and screen checking were particularly useful in explaining and predicting trait-based sensation seeking. On a daily level, the model successfully predicted objective behavioral measures such as present bias in delay discounting tasks, commission and omission errors in a cognitive attention task, and total gains in a risk-taking task. Our models also predicted daily EMA questions on positivity, stress, productivity, healthiness, and emotion and affect. Perhaps most intriguingly, the model failed to predict daily EMA designed to measure previous-day impulsivity using face-valid questions. Conclusions The study demonstrated the potential for developing trait and state impulsivity phenotypes and detecting impulsive behavior from everyday mobile phone sensors. Limitations of the current research and suggestions for building more precise passive sensing models are discussed. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03006653; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03006653  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1700832
NSF-PAR ID:
10249755
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
JMIR Mental Health
Volume:
8
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2368-7959
Page Range / eLocation ID:
e25019
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Background The classic Marshmallow Test, where children were offered a choice between one small but immediate reward (eg, one marshmallow) or a larger reward (eg, two marshmallows) if they waited for a period of time, instigated a wealth of research on the relationships among impulsive responding, self-regulation, and clinical and life outcomes. Impulsivity is a hallmark feature of self-regulation failures that lead to poor health decisions and outcomes, making understanding and treating impulsivity one of the most important constructs to tackle in building a culture of health. Despite a large literature base, impulsivity measurement remains difficult due to the multidimensional nature of the construct and limited methods of assessment in daily life. Mobile devices and the rise of mobile health (mHealth) have changed our ability to assess and intervene with individuals remotely, providing an avenue for ambulatory diagnostic testing and interventions. Longitudinal studies with mobile devices can further help to understand impulsive behaviors and variation in state impulsivity in daily life. Objective The aim of this study was to develop and validate an impulsivity mHealth diagnostics and monitoring app called Digital Marshmallow Test (DMT) using both the Apple and Android platforms for widespread dissemination to researchers, clinicians, and the general public. Methods The DMT app was developed using Apple’s ResearchKit (iOS) and Android’s ResearchStack open source frameworks for developing health research study apps. The DMT app consists of three main modules: self-report, ecological momentary assessment, and active behavioral and cognitive tasks. We conducted a study with a 21-day assessment period (N=116 participants) to validate the novel measures of the DMT app. Results We used a semantic differential scale to develop self-report trait and momentary state measures of impulsivity as part of the DMT app. We identified three state factors (inefficient, thrill seeking, and intentional) that correlated highly with established measures of impulsivity. We further leveraged momentary semantic differential questions to examine intraindividual variability, the effect of daily life, and the contextual effect of mood on state impulsivity and daily impulsive behaviors. Our results indicated validation of the self-report sematic differential and related results, and of the mobile behavioral tasks, including the Balloon Analogue Risk Task and Go-No-Go task, with relatively low validity of the mobile Delay Discounting task. We discuss the design implications of these results to mHealth research. Conclusions This study demonstrates the potential for assessing different facets of trait and state impulsivity during everyday life and in clinical settings using the DMT mobile app. The DMT app can be further used to enhance our understanding of the individual facets that underlie impulsive behaviors, as well as providing a promising avenue for digital interventions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03006653; https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03006653 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Background Increased work through electronic health record (EHR) messaging is frequently cited as a factor of physician burnout. However, studies to date have relied on anecdotal or self-reported measures, which limit the ability to match EHR use patterns with continuous stress patterns throughout the day. Objective The aim of this study is to collect EHR use and physiologic stress data through unobtrusive means that provide objective and continuous measures, cluster distinct patterns of EHR inbox work, identify physicians’ daily physiologic stress patterns, and evaluate the association between EHR inbox work patterns and physician physiologic stress. Methods Physicians were recruited from 5 medical centers. Participants (N=47) were given wrist-worn devices (Garmin Vivosmart 3) with heart rate sensors to wear for 7 days. The devices measured physiological stress throughout the day based on heart rate variability (HRV). Perceived stress was also measured with self-reports through experience sampling and a one-time survey. From the EHR system logs, the time attributed to different activities was quantified. By using a clustering algorithm, distinct inbox work patterns were identified and their associated stress measures were compared. The effects of EHR use on physician stress were examined using a generalized linear mixed effects model. Results Physicians spent an average of 1.08 hours doing EHR inbox work out of an average total EHR time of 3.5 hours. Patient messages accounted for most of the inbox work time (mean 37%, SD 11%). A total of 3 patterns of inbox work emerged: inbox work mostly outside work hours, inbox work mostly during work hours, and inbox work extending after hours that were mostly contiguous to work hours. Across these 3 groups, physiologic stress patterns showed 3 periods in which stress increased: in the first hour of work, early in the afternoon, and in the evening. Physicians in group 1 had the longest average stress duration during work hours (80 out of 243 min of valid HRV data; P=.02), as measured by physiological sensors. Inbox work duration, the rate of EHR window switching (moving from one screen to another), the proportion of inbox work done outside of work hours, inbox work batching, and the day of the week were each independently associated with daily stress duration (marginal R2=15%). Individual-level random effects were significant and explained most of the variation in stress (conditional R2=98%). Conclusions This study is among the first to demonstrate associations between electronic inbox work and physiological stress. We identified 3 potentially modifiable factors associated with stress: EHR window switching, inbox work duration, and inbox work outside work hours. Organizations seeking to reduce physician stress may consider system-based changes to reduce EHR window switching or inbox work duration or the incorporation of inbox management time into work hours. 
    more » « less
  3. Background The physical and emotional well-being of women is critical for healthy pregnancy and birth outcomes. The Two Happy Hearts intervention is a personalized mind-body program coached by community health workers that includes monitoring and reflecting on personal health, as well as practicing stress management strategies such as mindful breathing and movement. Objective The aims of this study are to (1) test the daily use of a wearable device to objectively measure physical and emotional well-being along with subjective assessments during pregnancy, and (2) explore the user’s engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype, as well as understand their experiences with various intervention components. Methods A case study with a mixed design was used. We recruited a 29-year-old woman at 33 weeks of gestation with a singleton pregnancy. She had no medical complications or physical restrictions, and she was enrolled in the Medi-Cal public health insurance plan. The participant engaged in the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype from her third trimester until delivery. The Oura smart ring was used to continuously monitor objective physical and emotional states, such as resting heart rate, resting heart rate variability, sleep, and physical activity. In addition, the participant self-reported her physical and emotional health using the Two Happy Hearts mobile app–based 24-hour recall surveys (sleep quality and level of physical activity) and ecological momentary assessment (positive and negative emotions), as well as the Perceived Stress Scale, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory. Engagement with the Two Happy Hearts intervention was recorded via both the smart ring and phone app, and user experiences were collected via Research Electronic Data Capture satisfaction surveys. Objective data from the Oura ring and subjective data on physical and emotional health were described. Regression plots and Pearson correlations between the objective and subjective data were presented, and content analysis was performed for the qualitative data. Results Decreased resting heart rate was significantly correlated with increased heart rate variability (r=–0.92, P<.001). We found significant associations between self-reported responses and Oura ring measures: (1) positive emotions and heart rate variability (r=0.54, P<.001), (2) sleep quality and sleep score (r=0.52, P<.001), and (3) physical activity and step count (r=0.77, P<.001). In addition, deep sleep appeared to increase as light and rapid eye movement sleep decreased. The psychological measures of stress, depression, and anxiety appeared to decrease from baseline to post intervention. Furthermore, the participant had a high completion rate of the components of the Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype and shared several positive experiences, such as an increased self-efficacy and a normal delivery. Conclusions The Two Happy Hearts intervention prototype shows promise for potential use by underserved pregnant women. 
    more » « less
  4. There is a growing body of research revealing that longitudinal passive sensing data from smartphones and wearable devices can capture daily behavior signals for human behavior modeling, such as depression detection. Most prior studies build and evaluate machine learning models using data collected from a single population. However, to ensure that a behavior model can work for a larger group of users, its generalizability needs to be verified on multiple datasets from different populations. We present the first work evaluating cross-dataset generalizability of longitudinal behavior models, using depression detection as an application. We collect multiple longitudinal passive mobile sensing datasets with over 500 users from two institutes over a two-year span, leading to four institute-year datasets. Using the datasets, we closely re-implement and evaluated nine prior depression detection algorithms. Our experiment reveals the lack of model generalizability of these methods. We also implement eight recently popular domain generalization algorithms from the machine learning community. Our results indicate that these methods also do not generalize well on our datasets, with barely any advantage over the naive baseline of guessing the majority. We then present two new algorithms with better generalizability. Our new algorithm, Reorder, significantly and consistently outperforms existing methods on most cross-dataset generalization setups. However, the overall advantage is incremental and still has great room for improvement. Our analysis reveals that the individual differences (both within and between populations) may play the most important role in the cross-dataset generalization challenge. Finally, we provide an open-source benchmark platform GLOBEM- short for Generalization of Longitudinal BEhavior Modeling - to consolidate all 19 algorithms. GLOBEM can support researchers in using, developing, and evaluating different longitudinal behavior modeling methods. We call for researchers' attention to model generalizability evaluation for future longitudinal human behavior modeling studies. 
    more » « less
  5. Background Digital health is poised to transform health care and redefine personalized health. As Internet and mobile phone usage increases, as technology develops new ways to collect data, and as clinical guidelines change, all areas of medicine face new challenges and opportunities. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of many chronic diseases that may benefit from these advances in digital health. This review intends to lay a foundation for clinicians and technologists to understand future directions and opportunities together. Objective This review covers mobile health apps that have been used in IBD, how they have fit into a clinical care framework, and the challenges that clinicians and technologists face in approaching future opportunities. Methods We searched PubMed, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov to identify mobile apps that have been studied and were published in the literature from January 1, 2010, to April 19, 2019. The search terms were (“mobile health” OR “eHealth” OR “digital health” OR “smart phone” OR “mobile app” OR “mobile applications” OR “mHealth” OR “smartphones”) AND (“IBD” OR “Inflammatory bowel disease” OR “Crohn's Disease” (CD) OR “Ulcerative Colitis” (UC) OR “UC” OR “CD”), followed by further analysis of citations from the results. We searched the Apple iTunes app store to identify a limited selection of commercial apps to include for discussion. Results A total of 68 articles met the inclusion criteria. A total of 11 digital health apps were identified in the literature and 4 commercial apps were selected to be described in this review. While most apps have some educational component, the majority of apps focus on eliciting patient-reported outcomes related to disease activity, and a few are for treatment management. Significant benefits have been seen in trials relating to education, quality of life, quality of care, treatment adherence, and medication management. No studies have reported a negative impact on any of the above. There are mixed results in terms of effects on office visits and follow-up. Conclusions While studies have shown that digital health can fit into, complement, and improve the standard clinical care of patients with IBD, there is a need for further validation and improvement, from both a clinical and patient perspective. Exploring new research methods, like microrandomized trials, may allow for more implementation of technology and rapid advancement of knowledge. New technologies that can objectively and seamlessly capture remote data, as well as complement the clinical shift from symptom-based to inflammation-based care, will help the clinical and health technology communities to understand the full potential of digital health in the care of IBD and other chronic illnesses. 
    more » « less