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. 2018 Dec 4;12:303.
doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2018.00303. eCollection 2018.

Time to Be "smart"-Opportunities Arising From Smartphone-Based Behavioral Analysis in Daily Patient Care

Free PMC article

Time to Be "smart"-Opportunities Arising From Smartphone-Based Behavioral Analysis in Daily Patient Care

Kevin Akeret et al. Front Behav Neurosci. .
Free PMC article


While pathologies of the central nervous system (CNS) are often associated with neuropsychological deficits, adequate quantification and monitoring of such deficits remains challenging. Due to their complex nature, comprehensive neuropsychological evaluations are needed, which are time-consuming, resource-intensive and do not adequately account for daily or hourly fluctuations of a patient's condition. Innovative approaches are required to improve the diagnostics and continuous monitoring of brain function, ideally in the form of a simple, objective, time-saving and inexpensive tool that overcomes the aforementioned weaknesses of conventional assessments. As smartphones are widely used and integrated in virtually every aspect of our lives, their potential regarding the acquisition of data representing an individual's behavior and health is enormous. Alterations in a patient's physical or mental health state may be recognized as behavioral deviation from the physiological range of the normal population, but also in comparison to the patient's individual baseline assessment. As smartphone-based assessment allows for continuous monitoring and therefore accounts for possible fluctuations or transiently occurring abnormalities in a patient's neurologic state, it may serve as a surveillance tool in the acute setting for early recognition of complications, or in the long-term outpatient setting to quantify rehabilitation or disease progress. This may be particularly interesting for regions of the world where healthcare resources for comprehensive clinical/neuropsychological examinations are insufficient or distances to healthcare providers are long. Here, we highlight the potential of smartphone-based behavioral monitoring in healthcare. Clinical Trial Registration:, identifier NCT03516162.

Keywords: behavioral analysis; digital behavior; machine learning; neuropsychology; smart surgery; smartphone; smartphone-based monitoring.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Example of data collected using a smartphone application that tracks the touchscreen interactions. Smartphones can occupy the user throughout the day. These parameters can extend from how quickly people tap on the phone to fitting circadian models. In this example, the heatmap depicts touchscreen taps per hour over the course of a month, where each row represents a specific date and each column represents the time of the day. By monitoring the touchscreen interactions in the background, a range of parameters can be derived to quantify behavioral alterations. These data were collected from a patient located in the Netherlands; the data are displayed in UTC time.

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