Realizing the potential of mobile mental health: new methods for new data in psychiatry

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2015 Aug;17(8):602. doi: 10.1007/s11920-015-0602-0.


Smartphones are now ubiquitous and can be harnessed to offer psychiatry a wealth of real-time data regarding patient behavior, self-reported symptoms, and even physiology. The data collected from smartphones meet the three criteria of big data: velocity, volume, and variety. Although these data have tremendous potential, transforming them into clinically valid and useful information requires using new tools and methods as a part of assessment in psychiatry. In this paper, we introduce and explore numerous analytical methods and tools from the computational and statistical sciences that appear readily applicable to psychiatric data collected using smartphones. By matching smartphone data with appropriate statistical methods, psychiatry can better realize the potential of mobile mental health and empower both patients and providers with novel clinical tools.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*
  • Psychiatry / methods*
  • Self Report
  • Smartphone
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Text Messaging