2B-Alert App: A mobile application for real-time individualized prediction of alertness

J Sleep Res. 2019 Apr;28(2):e12725. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12725. Epub 2018 Jul 23.


Knowing how an individual responds to sleep deprivation is a requirement for developing personalized fatigue management strategies. Here we describe and validate the 2B-Alert App, the first mobile application that progressively learns an individual's trait-like response to sleep deprivation in real time, to generate increasingly more accurate individualized predictions of alertness. We incorporated a Bayesian learning algorithm within the validated Unified Model of Performance to automatically and gradually adapt the model parameters to an individual after each psychomotor vigilance test. We implemented the resulting model and the psychomotor vigilance test as a smartphone application (2B-Alert App), and prospectively validated its performance in a 62-hr total sleep deprivation study in which 21 participants used the app to perform psychomotor vigilance tests every 3 hr and obtain real-time individualized predictions after each test. The temporal profiles of reaction times on the app-conducted psychomotor vigilance tests were well correlated with and as sensitive as those obtained with a previously characterized psychomotor vigilance test device. The app progressively learned each individual's trait-like response to sleep deprivation throughout the study, yielding increasingly more accurate predictions of alertness for the last 24 hr of total sleep deprivation as the number of psychomotor vigilance tests increased. After only 12 psychomotor vigilance tests, the accuracy of the model predictions was comparable to the peak accuracy obtained using all psychomotor vigilance tests. With the ability to make real-time individualized predictions of the effects of sleep deprivation on future alertness, the 2B-Alert App can be used to tailor personalized fatigue management strategies, facilitating self-management of alertness and safety in operational and non-operational settings.

Keywords: alertness; caffeine; individualized predictions; psychomotor vigilance test; sleep; smartphone app.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mobile Applications / trends*
  • Reaction Time / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*
  • Young Adult