University of Oulu

Seppälä J, De Vita I, Jämsä T, Miettunen J, Isohanni M, Rubinstein K, Feldman Y, Grasa E, Corripio I, Berdun J, D’Amico E, M-RESIST Group, Bulgheroni M. Mobile Phone and Wearable Sensor-Based mHealth Approaches for Psychiatric Disorders and Symptoms: Systematic Review. JMIR Ment Health 2019;6(2):e9819. DOI: 10.2196/mental.9819

Mobile phone and wearable sensor-based mHealth approach for psychiatric disorders and symptoms : systematic review and link to the m-RESIST project

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Author: Seppälä, Jussi1,2; De Vita, Ilaria3; Jämsä, Timo4,5,6;
Organizations: 1Center for Life Course of Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Mental and Substance Use Services, Eksote, Lappeenranta, Finland
3Ab.Acus srl, Milano, Italy
4Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
6Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
7The Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy Research, Tel Aviv, Israel
8Department of Psychiatry, Biomedical Research Institute Sant Pau (IIB-SANT PAU), Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain
9Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Barcelona, Spain
10CIBERSAM, Madrid, Spain
11Fundació TIC Salut Social, Barcelona, Spain
12m-RESIST, Barcelona, Spain
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: JMIR Publications, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-05


Background: Mobile Therapeutic Attention for Patients with Treatment-Resistant Schizophrenia (m-RESIST) is an EU Horizon 2020-funded project aimed at designing and validating an innovative therapeutic program for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. The program exploits information from mobile phones and wearable sensors for behavioral tracking to support intervention administration.

Objective: To systematically review original studies on sensor-based mHealth apps aimed at uncovering associations between sensor data and symptoms of psychiatric disorders in order to support the m-RESIST approach to assess effectiveness of behavioral monitoring in therapy.

Methods: A systematic review of the English-language literature, according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, was performed through Scopus, PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials databases. Studies published between September 1, 2009, and September 30, 2018, were selected. Boolean search operators with an iterative combination of search terms were applied.

Results: Studies reporting quantitative information on data collected from mobile use and/or wearable sensors, and where that information was associated with clinical outcomes, were included. A total of 35 studies were identified; most of them investigated bipolar disorders, depression, depression symptoms, stress, and symptoms of stress, while only a few studies addressed persons with schizophrenia. The data from sensors were associated with symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and depression.

Conclusions: Although the data from sensors demonstrated an association with the symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and depression, their usability in clinical settings to support therapeutic intervention is not yet fully assessed and needs to be scrutinized more thoroughly.

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Series: JMIR mental health
ISSN: 2368-7959
ISSN-E: 2368-7959
ISSN-L: 2368-7959
Volume: 6
Issue: 2
Article number: UNSP e9819
DOI: 10.2196/mental.9819
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
217 Medical engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union (grant number 643552) and was partly funded by Fonds Européen de Développement Économique et Régional (FEDER) and Centres de Recerca de Catalunya (CERCA) Programme, Generalitat de Catalunya. We are grateful to all members of the m-RESIST project, who are also collaborative authors of this review under the name of m-RESIST Group.
EU Grant Number: (643552) m-RESIST - Mobile Therapeutic Attention for Patients with Treatment Resistant Schizophrenia
Copyright information: © Jussi Seppälä, Ilaria De Vita, Timo Jämsä, Jouko Miettunen, Matti Isohanni, Katya Rubinstein, Yoram Feldman, Eva Grasa, Iluminada Corripio, Jesus Berdun, Enrico D'Amico, M-RESIST Group, Maria Bulgheroni. Originally published in JMIR Mental Health (, 20.02.2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Mental Health, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.