Using Mobile Technology to Tackle Central Nervous System Disorders

Biostats Professor JP Onnela recently co-chaired a workshop on Harnessing Mobile Technology to Predict, Diagnose, Monitor, and Develop Treatments for Nervous System Disorders, held from June 5-6, 2018 at the Keck Center of the National Academies in Washington, DC. The workshop brought together experts and key stakeholders from academia, non-profits, government research and regulatory agencies, and the technology and pharmaceutical sectors to explore current opportunities afforded by device and mobile health technology to advance research and treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

The use of mobile devices to advance research and treatment for CNS disorders holds tremendous promise, but it also raises important technological, methodological, ethical, and regulatory issues. During his presentation, Professor Onnela addressed in particular the current measurement challenges and gaps in predicting, diagnosing, monitoring, and assessing treatment effects for central nervous system disorders, as well as how mobile technology could address these gaps.

Along with providing an opportunity to explore innovative approaches to using device and mobile health technology for CNS disorders, the workshop allowed participants to discuss some of the regulatory, privacy, ethical, and security issues that arise when using devices for CNS disorders, and to propose solutions for future collaborations, action and research.