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Using the smartphone as a research tool for digital phenotyping : use cases with the mobileDNA application

Floor Denecker (UGent) and Jessica Morton (UGent)
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Abstract
With the increasing adoption of the smartphone by people of all ages (Digimeter, 2020), the use of smartphone logging applications, such as the in-house developed “mobileDNA application”, is interesting for research and various use cases. Smartphone research often relies on participants’ self-reports, but objectively logging smartphone use results in more accurate and valid data. To study the difference between objective and subjective measures, 30 Flemish ‘digital natives’ (mean age = 20) installed the application for two weeks and estimated their average daily smartphone use. On average, people overestimated their smartphone use with 30 %, showing that these subjective estimations can be detrimental for data quality in smartphone research. For another case we started from the idea that due to gradual ageing of the population, the number of people with ‘mild cognitive impairment’ (MCI) and Alzheimer Dementia (AD) will drastically increase in the coming decades (Eurostat, 1999). Nowadays, cognitive decline is assessed (too late) through obtrusive paper-and-pencil tests, often followed by expensive neuroimaging scans. As eldery own and use a smartphone more frequently (Digimeter, 2020), we want to unobtrusively analyse their user behavior on the smartphone and unravel alarming changes that could predict cognitive decline over time. We believe that, complementary to standard cognitive tests and sensor measurements, algorithms based on this “digital phenotype” could help in the early detection of MCI and AD, potentially slowing the cognitive decline. Altogether, we show the potential of using mobileDNA for digital health and wellbeing research, offering reliable measurement of actual smartphone use and the detection and monitoring of particular smartphone patterns and changes for digital phenotyping.

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MLA
Denecker, Floor, and Jessica Morton. “Using the Smartphone as a Research Tool for Digital Phenotyping : Use Cases with the MobileDNA Application.” BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts, 2021.
APA
Denecker, F., & Morton, J. (2021). Using the smartphone as a research tool for digital phenotyping : use cases with the mobileDNA application. BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences (BAPS), UCLouvain (online conference).
Chicago author-date
Denecker, Floor, and Jessica Morton. 2021. “Using the Smartphone as a Research Tool for Digital Phenotyping : Use Cases with the MobileDNA Application.” In BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Denecker, Floor, and Jessica Morton. 2021. “Using the Smartphone as a Research Tool for Digital Phenotyping : Use Cases with the MobileDNA Application.” In BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts.
Vancouver
1.
Denecker F, Morton J. Using the smartphone as a research tool for digital phenotyping : use cases with the mobileDNA application. In: BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts. 2021.
IEEE
[1]
F. Denecker and J. Morton, “Using the smartphone as a research tool for digital phenotyping : use cases with the mobileDNA application,” in BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts, UCLouvain (online conference), 2021.
@inproceedings{8751404,
  abstract     = {{With the increasing adoption of the smartphone by people of all ages (Digimeter, 2020), the use of smartphone logging applications, such as the in-house developed “mobileDNA application”, is interesting for research and various use cases. Smartphone research often relies on participants’ self-reports, but objectively logging smartphone use results in more accurate and valid data. To study the difference between objective and subjective measures, 30 Flemish ‘digital natives’ (mean age = 20) installed the application for two weeks and estimated their average daily smartphone use. On average, people overestimated their smartphone use with 30 %, showing that these subjective estimations can be detrimental for data quality in smartphone research. For another case we started from the idea that due to gradual ageing of the population, the number of people with ‘mild cognitive impairment’ (MCI) and Alzheimer Dementia (AD) will drastically increase in the coming decades (Eurostat, 1999). Nowadays, cognitive decline is assessed (too late) through obtrusive paper-and-pencil tests, often followed by expensive neuroimaging scans. As eldery own and use a smartphone more frequently (Digimeter, 2020), we want to unobtrusively analyse their user behavior on the smartphone and unravel alarming changes that could predict cognitive decline over time. We believe that, complementary to standard cognitive tests and sensor measurements, algorithms based on this “digital phenotype” could help in the early detection of MCI and AD, potentially slowing the cognitive decline. Altogether, we show the potential of using mobileDNA for digital health and wellbeing research, offering reliable measurement of actual smartphone use and the detection and monitoring of particular smartphone patterns and changes for digital phenotyping.}},
  author       = {{Denecker, Floor and Morton, Jessica}},
  booktitle    = {{BAPS 2021, Annual Meeting of the ​Belgian Association of Psychological Sciences, Abstracts}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  location     = {{UCLouvain (online conference)}},
  pages        = {{1}},
  title        = {{Using the smartphone as a research tool for digital phenotyping : use cases with the mobileDNA application}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}