Read more: Evidation Collaborates with Merck on Digital Monitoring Study on Alzheimer’s Disease

←Back to news
An award from the Mark Foundation for Cancer Research will help assess the feasibility of using smartphones and wearables to monitor brain and central nervous system cancers

SEATTLE and SAN MATEO, Calif., November 19, 2019 The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research announced this morning that a coalition led by 4YouandMe and including Evidation Health has been given a research award to harness machine learning for cancer research. 4YouandMe, a non-profit founded in 2017 to help lower the burden of chronic disease for all people, and Evidation, a health and measurement company that helps innovative life sciences and health care companies understand how everyday behavior and health interact, will use the Mark Foundation award to support the Helping Enable Real-time Observations (HERO) Brain Tumor Surveillance Study.

Approximately 80,000 individuals are expected to learn they have primary brain and central nervous system tumors this year. The provision of care for these patients currently rests primarily on subjective, discontinuous data collected at limited time intervals.

The HERO study aims to assess the feasibility of using passive data from wearables and smartphones to detect symptoms in brain cancer patients. Evidation will be responsible for collecting data across the diverse mix of data streams, including multiple wearables, smartphone and app-related data, and active tasks and questionnaires. 

“Despite cancer patients being under diligent care, much of their daily lives and transitions from asymptomatic to symptomatic states are not well characterized,” said Luca Foschini, Ph.D., Evidation’s co-founder and chief data scientist. “This study aims to shine a light on these periods and explore building personalized models for forecasting symptoms.”

The National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, will serve as the primary site for the study, which is expected to enroll 100 high-risk patients for a 6-12 month observational period.

“Insights from the HERO study could enable doctors to eventually see what is not visible today—tumors that are present but not yet causing noticeably severe symptoms—and to closely monitor and even adjust treatments for patients suffering from severe brain and CNS cancers,” said principal investigator Stephen Friend, M.D., Ph.D., 4YouandMe’s chairman, president, and co-founder. 

The HERO study is being done in concert with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s INFORMED Program, which will translate the digital biomarkers developed as part of this research study into drug development tools to address unmet needs in standard methods of capturing the patient expertise in traditional clinical trials.

About Evidation 

Evidation Health is a new kind of health and measurement company that provides the world’s most innovative life sciences and health care companies the technology and expertise they need to understand how everyday behavior and health interact. The volume of behavior data generated from smartphones and connected sensors — including wearables and medical devices — has opened up new ways to analyze individuals’ behavior and health in real time, unlocking insights into what medicines and treatments work best and spotting significant changes in health earlier. The scale and utility of everyday behavior data has the potential to be one of the most transformative forces in medicine, and Evidation Health is leading the way.

Over the years, Evidation has built the largest, most diverse virtual pool of research participants through its proprietary and popular app, Achievement. With a direct and trusted relationship with more than 3 million individuals, its deep research expertise, and its data platform, Evidation can undertake real world research for life sciences and health care companies — and, ultimately, transform how health is measured and how diseases are identified, treated, and monitored. Founded in 2012, Evidation Health is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., with additional offices in San Francisco and Santa Barbara, Calif. To learn more, visit, or follow us on Twitter @evidation.

About 4YouandMe

Empowered by individuals interested in sharing their own data and insights for the benefit of all, 4YouandMe explores how smartphones and wearable devices could develop methods for forecasting individual symptom transitions. 4YouandMe was formed in 2017 to help lower the burden of chronic diseases, especially for those who have the highest need and lowest access to quality care. 4YouandMe is a non-profit company comprised of an international coalition of partners including researchers, clinicians, software engineers, and mathematicians. Additional information about 4YouandMe is available at

Further reading