Exploring sensors for monitoring patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia

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Exploring sensors for monitoring patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia

Several sensors are currently available with smart watches, bracelets, smartphones and technology devices in general. During this year, m-RESIST explored all the possible solutions that could be used for friendly monitoring patients with treatment-resistant schizophrenia. These solutions may support the acquisition of implicit parameters, without interfering in patient's daily life, though providing an estimation of the physiological and mental state.

We are setting up the use of a smart watch, to acquire physiological information, and the use of ad-hoc mobile application on the patient’s smartphone, to quantitatively depict the lifestyle of the user in terms of movement activity, motion habits, and social activity.

In particular, depending on which kind of technology device is used, the data passively collected by sensors are:

1. Movement, acquired by the accelerometer, the step counter and the GPS sensor, in the smartphone and/or in the smart watch;

2. Vital signs, acquired with sensors of heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, skin conductance, within the smart watch;

3. Social activity, such us number of text messages (sent, inbox), number and duration of telephone conversations (incoming, missed, outgoing), index of social applications use, speech/listening ratio during phone calls, all acquired with the smartphone.

All these parameters, with the collaboration of clinicians, could provide assistance and constant support to the patients involved in the trial, preventing the worsening of psychotic symptoms, suicidal thoughts or other conditions.