A framework for assessing neuropsychiatric phenotypes by using smartphone-based location data

Niels Jongs, Raj Jagesar, Neeltje E.M. van Haren, Brenda W.J.H. Penninx, Lianne Reus, Pieter J. Visser, Nic J.A. van der Wee, Ina M. Koning, Celso Arango, Iris E.C. Sommer, Marinus J.C. Eijkemans, Jacob A. Vorstman, Martien J. Kas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The use of smartphone-based location data to quantify behavior longitudinally and passively is rapidly gaining traction in neuropsychiatric research. However, a standardized and validated preprocessing framework for deriving behavioral phenotypes from smartphone-based location data is currently lacking. Here, we present a preprocessing framework consisting of methods that are validated in the context of geospatial data. This framework aims to generate context-enriched location data by identifying stationary, non-stationary, and recurrent stationary states in movement patterns. Subsequently, this context-enriched data is used to derive a series of behavioral phenotypes that are related to movement. By using smartphone-based location data collected from 245 subjects, including patients with schizophrenia, we show that the proposed framework is effective and accurate in generating context-enriched location data. This data was subsequently used to derive behavioral readouts that were sensitive in detecting behavioral nuances related to schizophrenia and aging, such as the time spent at home and the number of unique places visited. Overall, our results indicate that the proposed framework reliably preprocesses raw smartphone-based location data in such a manner that relevant behavioral phenotypes of interest can be derived.

Original languageEnglish
Article number211
JournalTranslational psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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