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Digital Biomarkers Correlate with Traditional Neurocognitive Assessments

Digital phenotyping can use a range of different signals from a smartphone. Mindstrong has focused on human-computer interactions such as taps, scrolls, clicks and other activities on the smartphone touchscreen. Our science is based on these measures alone, which are completely passive and do not rely on personal information (unlike location or speech data).

Digital biomarkers and cognitive traits. Volunteers (n=27) compared on neurocognitive tests and digital biomarkers. Correlations across multiple cognitive trait measures = 0.7-0.8 (approximately the test-retest variance of the traditional tests). Source: Dagum, Digital Medicine, 2018.

Biomarker Loading on Depression Constructs

To identify the digital phenotyping features that could be clinically useful, Mindstrong used powerful machine learning methods to show that specific digital features correlate with cognitive function, clinical symptoms, and measures of brain activity in a range of clinical studies.

Research volunteers completed extensive neuropsychological testing, clinical assessments of mood and cognition, and, in some cases, neuroimaging with fMRI. The results revealed a set of digital biomarkers from human-smartphone interactions that correlate highly with select cognitive measures, mood state, and brain connectivity. These interactions were comprised of taps, swipes and other touchscreen activities which were completely content-free and not reliant on capturing personal information.

Biomarkers Load on Mood Constructs

Abbreviation Clinical Test Construct
PAN_PPANAS PositivePositive Affect
PAN_NPANAS NegativeNegative Affect
IDSDepression ScaleDepression
PHQ 9Patient Health QuestionnaireDepression
SHAPSSnaith-Hamilton Pleasure ScaleAnhedonia
CGISClinician Global Impression – SeverityGlobal pyschiatric functioning
HAMAHamiliton Anxiety ScaleAnxiety
HAMDHamiliton Depression ScaleDepression

FIGURE. Correlations between the top Mindstrong Biomarkers and Clinical measures. The p-values from all correlations are corrected to limit the false discovery rate to 1%. Correlations with a p-value below this threshold are shown in gray.


Measurement-based care is fundamental to improving mental health care outcomes.

On this foundation, we are building insights about risk and resilience for individual patients with a range of behavioral and medical problems. With objective, continuous, ecological measurement, we have the basis for proactive and connected care.

intellectual property

Mindstrong has developed and patented a biomarker panel that measures brain function from interaction patterns captured passively and continuously from human-computer interfaces found in ubiquitous mobile technology.

Recent Publications
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Digital biomarkers of cognitive function

Paul Dagum

This publication describes the study used to identify digital biomarkers that predict performance on gold standard neurocognitive tests.

RELATED CONTENT: Behind the Paper. This accompanying article describes the story behind Mindstrong’s technology, and the journey Paul Dagum, Founder and CEO, took to develop the pioneering concept and work.

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Assessing Anhedonia with Quantitative Tasks, Digital and Patient Reported Measures in a Multi-Center, Double-Blind Trial With BTRX-246040 for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder

Annette Madrid, Daniel Smith, Sarah Alvarez-Horine, Kerensa Saljooqi, Paul Dagum, Atul Mahableshwarkar

This poster reports preliminary results from a Phase 2A trial of BTRX-246040, a potent and selective antagonist of the human nociception receptor (NOPR), as a treatment for anhedonia in patients with major depressive disorder. Mindstrong’s digital phenotyping is one of the outcome measures being used to assess efficacy.

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Join the Disruptors of Health Science

Thomas R. Insel

This Commentary describes the changing ecosystem as small and large tech companies become involved in biomedical research and healthcare.