Mobile technology has the potential to facilitate high-impact advances in our understanding of the connection between mental and physical health.  

Combining objective data from mobile and wearable technologies with traditional research tools and health and behavioral data allows long-term research to be done at scale, reach diverse populations and reduce the burden of research participation. 

The Mobile Technologies Core provides investigators across the University of Michigan the support and guidance needed to utilize mobile technologies and digital mental health measures in their studies. Experienced faculty and staff offer hands-on consultative services to researchers throughout the University – regardless of specialty or research focus.

Our mobile study infrastructure supports investigators who are interested in harnessing the power of emerging mobile technology in their research. Developed in collaboration with partners across the University, our aim is to explore the interaction of mental health and a variety of disease-states to accelerate the discovery of whole-person treatment and prevention. 

Mobile core services

Our dedicated faculty and staff provide consultations, knowledge and resources focused on helping investigators overcome the barriers of incorporating mobile technologies and mental health measures in human subjects research. Our services include:

Research proposal ideation and development »

Providing resources and support in developing competitive, cutting-edge proposals.

Mobile study expertise: Technology selection and use »

Resources and expertise to help investigators select technologies that meet their research objectives.

Mobile data standardization, processing and access »

Learnings on the collection, extraction, storage, processing, and display of the large amount of high resolution data acquired by mobile technologies.

Mobile technologies affinity groups »

Get connected to collaborative networks and dedicated faculty and staff support.

Questions and topics to get started:

Why use mobile technologies in your research

Mobile health technologies offer advantages like the ability to assess various measures together, both objectively (e.g. wearable sensors) and with self-report (e.g. app acquired ecological momentary assessment).

Data collection methods of mobile technologies are unique compared to traditional research tools, and can acquire long-term data in free-living conditions, often with minimal effort on the part of the study participant. Meta-data is continually collected alongside the research parameters of interest which enrich the data with contextual information.

Graphic outlining mobile technology measurements.
Elements of research with mobile technologies

The Mobile Technologies Core will provide support and share expertise for the following technologies and technology applications. 

  • Off-the-shelf wearables and other mobile monitoring devices
  • 3rd party apps and websites
  • Smartphones
    • Used to deploy apps
    • Contain native sensors to collect data (microphone, gyroscope, etc). 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
    • Automate participant data collection and deploy interventions through apps
      • ie: Chatbot
    • Al algorithms 
      • Used by mobile technologies at multiple levels, including: 
        • AI analysis of wearable signals to derive meaningful quantities (i.e. total sleep times)
        • AI analysis of health metrics (i.e. total sleep time) obtained from wearables combined with data derived from apps (i.e. self-report mood levels) along with other metadata (big data analysis)
  • Telemedicine
    • Studies using wearables and telemedicine for delivery of care.

Faculty interested in developing apps for commercialization should visit:  UM Innovation Partners 

Connect with the Mobile Technologies Core:

Cathy-Goldstein, M.D.

Faculty Lead

Clinical Professor
Victoria Bennett

Victoria Bennett

Mobile Technologies Core Manager
Gabriel Mongefranco

Gabriel Mongefranco

Mobile Data Architect