Background: Mobile health (mHealth) methods often rely on active input from participants, for example, in the form of self-report questionnaires delivered via web or smartphone, to measure health and behavioral indicators and deliver interventions in everyday life settings. For short-term studies or interventions, these techniques are deployed intensively, causing nontrivial participant burden. For cases where the goal is long-term maintenance, limited infrastructure exists to balance information needs with participant constraints. Yet, the increasing precision of passive sensors such as wearable physiology monitors, smartphone-based location history, and internet-of-things devices, in combination with statistical feature selection and adaptive interventions, have begun to make such things possible. Objective: In this paper, we introduced Wear-IT, a smartphone app and cloud framework intended to begin addressing current limitations by allowing researchers to leverage commodity electronics and real-time decision making to optimize the amount of useful data collected while minimizing participant burden. Methods: The Wear-IT framework uses real-time decision making to find more optimal tradeoffs between the utility of data collected and the burden placed on participants. Wear-IT integrates a variety of consumer-grade sensors and provides adaptive, personalized, and low-burden monitoring and intervention. Proof of concept examples are illustrated using artificial data. The results of qualitative interviews with users are provided. Results: Participants provided positive feedback about the ease of use of studies conducted using the Wear-IT framework. Users expressed positivity about their overall experience with the framework and its utility for balancing burden and excitement about future studies that real-time processing will enable. Conclusions: The Wear-IT framework uses a combination of passive monitoring, real-time processing, and adaptive assessment and intervention to provide a balance between high-quality data collection and low participant burden. The framework presents an opportunity to deploy adaptive assessment and intervention designs that use real-time processing and provides a platform to study and overcome the challenges of long-term mHealth intervention.
Author(s): Timothy R. Brick, James Mundie, Jonathan Weaver, Robert Fraleigh, Zita Oravecz
Publisher: JMIR Publications Inc.
Publication Type: Academic Journal Article
Journal Title: JMIR Formative Research