Background: Data from activity trackers and smartphone health applications can not only help individuals gain a better understanding of their health, behaviors and habits, but can also help researchers further develop the link between behavior and health outcomes. Behavioral data linked with health outcomes data can be used to create digital biomarkers and categorize different subgroups of patients based on their specific characteristics. This aggregated data can also help researchers to understand how to identify high-risk patients, target effective treatment regimens to specific patient populations, and track disease progression. This is especially pertinent in disease areas such as depression and anxiety, where symptoms expressed are highly behavioral.
Study Design: The Achievement Mental Health Study is an observational study to collect various types of behavioral health data and self-reported health outcomes data for people who self-report an anxiety or depression diagnosis. Behavioral data will include step, sleep, weight, and food log data that can be collected from an activity tracker or other health application (e.g., Fitbit, Apple Watch). Self-reported health outcomes data will include data on the participant’s health status and healthcare utilization.
Objectives: Various analyses linking behavioral data and health outcomes data will be conducted on the data collected. This information may also be used in the future to help better match users with future clinical study opportunities.
Early findings: Since launching the study, we have released early results from the cohort related to sleep patterns (SMDM, 2017) and identification of anxiety and/or depression within diabetic populations (AMIA, 2017).