A mobile assessment technology for schizophrenia

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Medical and Human Sciences


Schizophrenia is a severe, often lifelong disorder which affects 1% of people with an onset in early adult life. New, effective treatments are needed. Developing these is slow, partly because of the blunt measurement instruments we have for assessing symptoms and outcomes. We are proposing a new approach to measuring symptoms based on collecting data on symptom severity several times a day using an adapted mobile phone. We wish to evaluate how well this works in comarison to standard methods, and how acceptable patients find it to use in everyday life. If successful, this offers a new way to evaluate treatments and outcomes, and could in the longer term be used routinely by patients, with clinical staff, monitoring their own health in the community.

Technical Summary

Schizophrenia is a major public health challenge. Current treatments are limited and, in the absence of reliable markers of disease or of treatment response, evaluation of new treatments is cumbersome. Treatments are evaluated by patient recall of symptoms a week or month later, a process subject to averaging and biased recollection. The aim of the proposal is to develop and evaluate a web-based remote data capture system for recording momentary symptom data in ambulant subjects, based on a technique know as experience sampling (ES). The objectives are (i) to examine the validity of ES data collected via handheld PDA against gold standard conventional rating scale clinical assessments currently used in treatment evaluation; (ii) to develop a wireless version of ES to streamline the collection and collation of clinical data during daily life using a mobile phone; (ii) to compare the acceptability and efficiency of this system to the PDA-based ES system. If successful, this method of capturing data will be relevant to new clinical trial designs and new modes of service delivery. Roll out of the end product will be in conjunction with with the GSM Association (www.gsmworld.com), which represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry.
Description MRC DCS
Amount £850,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2012 
End 01/2015
Title mobile symtom assessment 
Description ambulant mental health symtom assessment via mobile phone 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of Data/Biological Samples 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Patients with psychosis able to record symptoms whose reliability and validity have been demonstrated against gold standard rating scales 
Description Clintouch deployment 
Organisation Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Enhanced patient care
Collaborator Contribution Development of m-health support
Impact Academic - clinical developments
Start Year 2010
Description Industry collaboration 
Organisation Robert Bosch Healthcare
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Innovation in healthcare
Collaborator Contribution In kind technical contribution
Impact MICA agreement on MRC DCS grant
Start Year 2012
Description NHS deployment 
Organisation NHS Confederation
Department Mental Health Network
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Innovation in clinical care
Collaborator Contribution Partnership agreement to recommend Clintouch to NHS and non-NHS providers
Impact Contract under negotiation
Start Year 2012
Title Clintouch 
Description A mobile assessment technology developed and validated for use in patients with schizophrenia and related disorders 
IP Reference  
Protection Copyrighted (e.g. software)
Year Protection Granted 2011
Licensed No
Impact Legally binding partnership agreement being drawn up with NHS Confederation
Title Clintouch 
Description Android mobile phone application to collect and upload sympton data which has now been validated in a cohort of 70 patients with schizophrenia 
Type Support Tool - For Medical Intervention
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2011
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact Acceptability and feasibility in patients with schizophrenia. Partnership agreement being agreed with NHS Confederation. 
Description European Congress of Psychiatry. Madrid 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 100 plus professional
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
Description Schizophrenia International Research Society, Florence, Italy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 100 plus professionals
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
Description Web Summit - Lisbon Portugal 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two talks given at the Web Summit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018