Prediction meets time series with gaps: User clusters with specific usage behavior patterns

Artif Intell Med. 2023 Aug:142:102575. doi: 10.1016/j.artmed.2023.102575. Epub 2023 May 2.


With mHealth apps, data can be recorded in real life, which makes them useful, for example, as an accompanying tool in treatments. However, such datasets, especially those based on apps with usage on a voluntary basis, are often affected by fluctuating engagement and by high user dropout rates. This makes it difficult to exploit the data using machine learning techniques and raises the question of whether users have stopped using the app. In this extended paper, we present a method to identify phases with varying dropout rates in a dataset and predict for each. We also present an approach to predict what period of inactivity can be expected for a user in the current state. We use change point detection to identify the phases, show how to deal with uneven misaligned time series and predict the user's phase using time series classification. In addition, we examine how the evolution of adherence develops in individual clusters of individuals. We evaluated our method on the data of an mHealth app for tinnitus, and show that our approach is appropriate for the study of adherence in datasets with uneven, unaligned time series of different lengths and with missing values.

Keywords: Adherence; Chronic diseases; Law of attrition; Time series with gaps; mHealth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Machine Learning*
  • Telemedicine*
  • Time Factors