Mobile technology can be used to passively capture data tracing features and fluctuations of
patients' daily activities, including activity levels, location patterns, sleep, and a wide
variety of other health-relevant metrics. This data can then be combined with contextual
recall, collected through a mobile app, to enhance passively captured behavioral data. The
resulting data collection is objective, real-time, and contextual, thus addressing the
pitfalls of conventional measurement of pain treatment outcomes.
The goal of this pilot study is to assess the feasibility and value of using smart phone
applications to collect objective, quantitative functional data from patients under active
treatment for chronic pain.
35 subjects will be enrolled from the Weill Cornell Pain Medicine Center to ensure a total of
30 completed sets of surveys (15 males, 15 females). The Chronic Pain Registry (a data
registry utilized to assess the outcomes of chronic pain patients) will provide data
regarding the patients' demographics, diagnosis, and prescribed medications. The mobile
applications ("Mobility" and "Ohmage") will be downloaded in the office with a demonstration
of proper use. "Ohmage" is a data collection application, designed for use on a smart phone
or tablet, and allows for both passive and active capture of data via a device's internal
sensing mechanisms and through a user's participation in surveys. "Mobility" is a mobile
phone sensor application, designed for both android and iPhone devices, that allows a phone
to passively capture information about its user's activity. The "Mobility" application uses
an activity classifier algorithm to determine if the user is stationary, walking, running, or
driving based on how quickly the WiFi and/or GPS signals change, coupled with the strength of
motion detected by the phone's internal accelerometer. Ohmage aggregates the Mobility
application's generated data and uploads the data to a secure server for study and analysis.
Patients will be asked to keep a daily electronic diary via the Ohmage app. Mobility will be
used to track the patients' movement and level of activity. Telephone assistance will be
available in case of technical problems (Monday to Friday, 9AM-5PM). An audible alarm
reminder will be programmed to encourage compliance with use as well as timely completion of
the compliance diary.
Two iterative usability cycles will be conducted with assessment of the compliance diary and
questionnaire administration at the 1 and 2-week endpoints.
- Patients with eligible smart phone devices (iPhones and Androids- working, newer
models (released in the last 3 years)) running a sufficient, current version of iOS or
- Chronic low back pain (at least 3 months) with or without lower extremity pain (i.e.
lumbar radiculopathy, spinal stenosis)
- Average pain is rated at least moderate (numerical score greater than or equal to
- Ages 18 - 65 years
- Participating in Chronic Pain Registry (standard of care)
- Conditions limiting mobility
- Non-ambulatory (wheelchair bound)
- Movement or neuromuscular disorders
- Significant lower extremity weakness
- Severe cardiorespiratory disease
- Moderate to severe cognitive impairment
- Active cancer therapy (chemotherapy or radiation) in the last year
- Major surgery in the last 3 months
- Inability to comply with study requirements per investigator judgement