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Open Access Publications from the University of California

mHealth Research Applied to Regulated and Unregulated Behavioral Health Sciences

  • Author(s): Nebeker, Camille
  • et al.

Behavioral scientists are developing new methods and frameworks that leverage mobile health technologies to optimize individual level behavior change. Pervasive sensors and mobile apps allow researchers to passively observe human behaviors “in the wild” 24/7 which supports delivery of personalized interventions in the real-world environment. This is all possible because these technologies contain an incredible array of sensors that allow applications to constantly record user location and can contextualize current environmental conditions through barometers, thermometers, and ambient light sensors and can also capture audio and video of the user and their surroundings through multiple integrated high-definition cameras and microphones. These tools are a game changer in behavioral health research and, not surprisingly, introduce new ethical, regulatory/legal and social implications described in this article.

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