Sage Bionetworks to co-host mobile-research-app developer workshop

Mobile Health App Developer Workshop
September 12, 2019
New York Genome Center
101 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013

Join Us!

If you’re a developer interested in conducting health research on mobile devices and wearables, but aren’t sure where to start or what you can use to bootstrap, join us on September 12, 2019, at the New York Genome Center for a free developer workshop.

The workshop features a keynote from Andy Coravos, founder and CEO of Elektra Labs (and until recently, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the FDA) and technical leaders from organizations and startups like Sage Bionetworks, Medaptive, and Open mHealth.

Key issues to be covered include:

  • Using Apple’s ResearchKit and the Android ResearchStack
  • Where and how traditional ethics protections must be used
  • How the reliability of data collection drives reliability of research outcomes
  • And other topics

Attendees will also be able to submit applications for a lightning talk (3-5 minutes) to showcase a specific mobile health research problem they have solved or a specific problem on which you’d like community input.

Registration – plus a note to indicate your interest in a lightning talk slot – is open:


The event is co-hosted with the University of Louisville, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and Vanderbilt University as part of NIH grant #1R01CA207538 – Addressing ELSI Issues in Unregulated Health Research Using Mobile Devices. Additional support is provided by Digitalis.

LAUNCH: My BP Lab 2.0 Now Available in 6 New Markets

More people in more countries can now participate in My BP Lab, a research study that uses surveys and sensor data from Samsung mobile phones (models: S9, S9+, Note9, S10, S10+) and Galaxy Watch Active. Version 2.0 of the app is now available in Canada, Australia, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom – in addition to the United States.

The study, which initially launched in 2018, is led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, and their in-country research partners. Sage Bionetworks developed the apps for both the mobile and wearable devices, and provided data management. Sage also helped to oversee in-country legal review.

My BP Lab 2.0 includes updates and new features:

  • Game-like cognitive tasks/challenges that measure your memory, attention, and cognitive flexibility. This helps to examine how stress and daily experiences influence cognitive capacity from one moment to the next.
  • Light-weight stress management interventions that teach you skills to help reduce stress.
  • Galaxy Watch Active integration to make it easy to measure blood pressure with just a few touches.

Learn more about My BP Lab 2.0 at

Using Open Technology Platform to Help Develop Community Resource for Mobile Cognitive Tracking

New awards from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will fund two independent projects to develop a suite of mobile cognitive tests that will be distributed via Sage’s technology platforms for integration into clinical research studies. Designing these remote cognitive assessments on a common technical platform provides a single point of entry for the broader community of researchers, who will be able to benefit from and contribute to the resource more rapidly and efficiently.

Remote cognitive assessments allow researchers to better understand the progression and variation in cognition in the context of daily living, an approach that is not possible with traditional tests performed in the clinic. Importantly, the research teams, led by investigators at Northwestern University and Penn State University are committed to developing the suite of tools on a common, open platform to enable an extensive and dynamic norming framework that will ensure that researchers understand the impact of context on test performance. This will be repeated across at least a half dozen research studies.

Dr. Richard Gerson, of Northwestern University, is leading a consortium of researchers from several institutions including Harvard University and University of California, San Francisco, in the development of the MobileToolbox library of iOS and Android cognitive assessments. Dr. Martin Silwinski, of Penn State University, is leading a second consortium of researchers from several institutions, including Washington University and University of Southern California, to develop accurate and more sensitive measurements for detecting subtle cognitive changes during preclinical states of neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease.

Read news article from Penn State University

“By performing this work in the open domain, we create a dynamic resource to share cognitive tests in a manner where the community can independently evaluate their validation and norming criteria,” said Dr. Lara Mangravite, president, Sage Bionetworks. “In this way, clinical researchers will be able to easily identify and deploy cognitive tools that are optimally useful for their own research needs.”

Winners of Sage Digital Health Catalyst Program Announced


There is a high barrier to entry for researchers hoping to deploy mobile-health technologies effectively and at scale. Through the Sage Digital Health Catalyst Program, we are helping to bootstrap innovative research projects. After several rounds of judging and a pitch session, we are pleased to announce the winners of the competition:


Creativ Lab logo


The UW CREATIV Lab will be working with Sage Bionetworks to build out a mobile recruitment and assessment app for depression. The app, called Brighten, is based on previous NIMH-funded research the lab conducted to evaluate mobile treatments for depression. Brighten will include features such as cognitive assessment, daily questions about mood and functioning, weekly assessments and will extra passive, phone-based data as well as allow participants to share data from electronic health records. This app will be used in a large scale study if 12,000 adults undergoing treatment for depression, to see if you smart-phone can predict the chances of people responding to different types of depression interventions. Learn more


LetSync: Advances in antiretroviral therapy mean that people who are HIV-positive can live healthy lives as long as they engage in HIV care and treatment. However, biomedical advances have not benefitted all populations equally, resulting in drastic disparities by racial/ethnic and sexual minority statuses. LetSync is a mobile health app that targets dyadic resources to enhance the health of the individual, based on social-psychological and behavioral evidence indicating that the quality and dynamics of the relationship between the patient and his/her primary partner (e.g., spouse) have profound effects on the patient’s healthcare engagement. LetSync targets dyadic interactions that bolster dyadic resources to help black gay couples living with HIV better engage in care. Few mHealth designs target the joint, dyadic experience of two users in facilitating interactions between them. This research is innovative for extending beyond the standard individual-based mHealth design to consider the interdependence between users that affect behavior. Findings from this research may be applicable to other types of dyads, such as the patient-provider, parent-child, and the caregiver-care-receiver dyads. Learn more


UCSF and Sage Bionetworks announce stress research study leveraging new sensor technologies on the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Study marks a groundbreaking use of a smartphone sensor capable of measuring body signals for blood pressure estimation

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Sage Bionetworks announce the launch of “My BP Lab”, a research study that uses surveys and sensor data collected from participants’ phones to quantify and understand their daily stress. The study leverages an optical sensor embedded in the newly-released Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphone to derive estimates of heart rate and blood pressure. With My BP Lab, participants can track variation in their blood pressure relative to daily experiences over the course of the three week study.

“This study potentially will provide the largest dataset ever obtained on stress levels, health behaviors, and physiological responses during the course of one’s daily life,” said Wendy Berry Mendes, UCSF Professor and Principal Investigator of the My BP Lab study. “By collecting subjective experiences, behaviors like sleep and exercise, and blood pressure levels across a three week period, we can identify the most important triggers of stress physiology.” Blood pressure, along with contextual information, can provide individuals with insights as to how their daily activities affect their stress levels and overall wellbeing.

“Integration of health sensors into consumer smartphones provides a powerful opportunity for researchers to understand the impact that our surroundings can have on our health,” said Brian M. Bot, Principal Scientist at Sage Bionetworks and co-investigator of My BP Lab. “In My BP Lab, we are able to explore the impact of stress on measures of health outside of a clinical setting.” The study utilizes ResearchStack, an open source software framework designed to support researchers interested in launching studies through smartphones that use the Android operating system. This is the second Android-based study supported by Sage Bionetworks.

“The use of smartphones to distribute studies provides an easy approach for interested individuals to get actively involved in health research.” said Dr. Lara Mangravite, President of Sage Bionetworks. “Participants not only contribute to science but have the ability to immediately learn about their own health.”

Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit research organization that supports participant-centered research studies. Sage Bionetworks entered mobile health research in March of 2015, providing data governance and technical infrastructure to support remote enrollment and secure data management. Sage has supported over two dozen separate studies in partnership with a number of academic and industry collaborators that have collectively engaged more than 100,000 participants.

My BP Lab is open to participants over the age of 18 living in the United States with a Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+. The research is being conducted under the supervision of Professor Wendy Berry Mendes at UCSF and uses optical sensor technology from Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. The My BP Lab study app will be available starting March 15, 2018. Information is available on the study website and the app may be downloaded from the Google Play Store.

About Sage Bionetworks (

Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit biomedical research organization founded in 2009 to promote innovations in biomedicine by enabling a community-based approach to scientific inquiries and discoveries. In pursuit of this mission, we have combined science, technology, and governance structures to assemble an information commons for sharing resources and insights. The commons is used to support open research collaborations and innovative crowd-sourced analytical Challenges; it also empowers citizens and patients to partner with researchers through mobile health technologies. At Sage Bionetworks, we work to make science more open, collaborative, and inclusive.

About University of California, San Francisco

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area. Please visit

Contact:  Brian Bot
Sage Bionetworks
Tel: 206 667-2102

Novartis launches first large-scale research study in multiple sclerosis that allows participants to contribute from smartphones

– elevateMS study allows researchers to collect sensor-based movement data and symptoms directly from participants without the need for clinic visits

EAST HANOVER, N.J., Aug. 21, 2017 — Novartis announced today the launch of a mobile research study for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) that collects data via their smartphone, without the need for clinic visits. The study, Evaluation of Evidence from Smart Phone Sensors and Patient-Reported Outcomes in Participants with Multiple Sclerosis (elevateMS), is designed to collect sensor-based data from physical tasks and symptoms. It aims to improve understanding of the daily challenges patients with MS can have and to uncover new potential measurements of treatment effectiveness through real-time data collection from participants in their everyday life.

The elevateMS study, which was developed in partnership with Sage Bionetworks, uses a mobile application that was built on the Apple ResearchKit®* platform. This emerging digital smartphone research platform allows study participants to contribute to research from home or on the go. At the same time, it enables researchers to collect data in the participant’s everyday environment. To download the app and enroll in the study, please visit

The mobile app was designed with input from patients, neurologists and advocates. Patients commented on the app’s user interface, what the study should measure, and how the app should track patient activity and disease symptoms.

“As physicians, we always want to know how our patients with MS are doing on the treatments we prescribe,” said Stanley Cohan, MD, PhD, medical director, Providence Multiple Sclerosis Center, Portland, Oregon. “With the elevateMS app, study participants can frequently document their symptoms in a personal health story. In turn, this data may provide researchers with new ways to look at disease progression and treatment effectiveness,” added Dr. Cohan, who serves as a scientific advisor to the study.

The elevateMS study is open to US participants with and without MS who can download the application from the Apple App Store and provide their mandatory informed consent. Participants have a right to leave the study anytime they like. Using smartphones, the elevateMS application will capture participant responses to questionnaires, passive and active sensor-based movement data, and functional performance tasks completed by the participants. Participants will be able to use the application to view how their data changes over time. Researchers will use data from all participants to understand what it is like to live with MS. The names of participants will be replaced with a random code, so the researchers and study sponsor Novartis won’t know the individual’s identity.

Additional information about the elevateMS study is available at

Novartis is a leader in MS with three approved medications, along with additional investigational therapies in early and late phases of development.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease of the central nervous system, affects around 400,000 people in the US1. Approximately 85 percent of people with MS are initially diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS, where the immune system attacks healthy tissue2. This form of MS is a potentially debilitating condition characterized by relapses with worsening neurological function, followed by periods of remission where patients partially or fully recover, during which the disease remains stable2.


This press release contains forward-looking statements, including “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can generally be identified by words such as “potential,” “can,” “will,” “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “look forward,” “believe,” “committed,” “investigational,” “pipeline,” “launch,” or similar terms, or by express or implied discussions regarding potential marketing approvals, new indications or labeling for the investigational or approved products described in this press release, or regarding potential future revenues from such products. You should not place undue reliance on these statements. Such forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations regarding future events, and are subject to significant known and unknown risks and uncertainties. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. There can be no guarantee that the investigational or approved products described in this press release will be submitted or approved for sale or for any additional indications or labeling in any market, or at any particular time. Nor can there be any guarantee that such products will be commercially successful in the future. In particular, our expectations regarding such products could be affected by, among other things, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including clinical trial results and additional analysis of existing clinical data; regulatory actions or delays or government regulation generally; our ability to obtain or maintain proprietary intellectual property protection; the particular prescribing preferences of physicians and patients; global trends toward health care cost containment, including government, payor and general public pricing and reimbursement pressures; general economic and industry conditions, including the effects of the persistently weak economic and financial environment in many countries; safety, quality or manufacturing issues, and other risks and factors referred to in Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

*ResearchKit is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.

About Novartis

Located in East Hanover, NJ Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in approximately 155 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at
For Novartis multimedia content, please visit
For questions about the site or required registration, please contact


  • Tullman M. Overview of the epidemiology, diagnosis and disease progression associated with multiple sclerosis. Am J Managed Care. 2013 Feb;19(2 Suppl):S15-20.
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) web site. Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS). Visited August 14, 2017.

Novartis Media Relations
Central media line: +41 61 324 2200

Sage Bionetworks and Celgene Corporation announce the launch of Journey PRO, a mobile health research study designed to improve the lives of patients living with chronic anemia

Smartphone-based app as a tool to collect and analyze patient-reported data leading to improved therapeutic developments and to provide study information back to the patient participants to use in managing their health.

August 14, 2017 – Seattle, WA – Sage Bionetworks, a non-profit biomedical research accelerator, together with Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG) today announced the launch of Journey PRO, a mobile health research study designed to improve the understanding of disease burden on people living with chronic anemia due to myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myelofibrosis, and beta-thalassemia.

This study uses mobile and wearable technologies to quantify the daily burden of chronic anemia on patients living with these diseases. The study utilizes the Apple ResearchKit framework to collect data from participants using surveys, neurological self-assessments using the BrainBaseline cognitive testing software from Digital Artifacts, health data collected from the iPhone HealthKit, and fitness tracking wearables, among others. By following participants using these quantitative assessments, we aim to develop a tool to evaluate the efficacy of new treatments for reducing the impact of these diseases on patients.

“Understanding the impact of disease on daily living is important to patients as well as researchers,” said Lara Mangravite, President of Sage Bionetworks and PI of the study. “For this reason, Journey PRO will provide direct and immediate information back to research participants to help them manage their health.”  The Journey PRO app was designed with input from members of the chronic anemia community to support patients in the management of their health.  Participants may use the app to track key health data (e.g., transfusions, lab values) and the scheduling of appointment dates. Participants will also be able to visualize their study data and may choose to download the data and share it with their healthcare team. This design was developed in consultation with patient representatives recruited through the MDS Foundation (, Cooley’s Anemia Foundation (, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (

Journey PRO is open to participants over the age of 18 living in the United States with an iPhone model 5 or newer with iOS 8 or later. The research term encourages patients with a diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), myelofibrosis, and beta-thalassemia to participate in this study. Individuals without a diagnosis of chronic anemia can also participate by providing valuable comparison data to further illustrate the difference in quality of life measures between the chronic anemia population and the general population. The Journey PRO app is available immediately for download from the App Store.

About Celgene
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation. For more information, please visit Follow Celgene on Social Media: @CelgenePinterestLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

About Sage Bionetworks (
Sage Bionetworks is a nonprofit biomedical research organization, founded in 2009, with a vision to promote innovations in personalized medicine by enabling a community-based approach to scientific inquiries and discoveries. In pursuit of this Mission, Sage Bionetworks is working with others to assemble an information Commons for biomedicine that (1) is supported by an open compute space (Synapse:, (2) supports open research collaborations and innovative DREAM Challenges, and (3) empowers citizens and patients with the tools to partner with researchers and share their data through Sage’s BRIDGE platform ( in order to drive the research studies that matter most to them.

Lara Mangravite
206 667-6044

Diane Gary

Sage supported Mobile Health App for Bipolar Patients Wins Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Mood Challenge

Sage supported app that tracks bipolar manic, depressive episodes has won the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Mood Challenge for ResearchKit.

May 16, 2017 – A team led by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, along with collaborators at the University of Michigan and Sage Bionetworks, has won the Mood Challenge for ResearchKit, a contest that called on researchers to come up with new ways to study mood disorders using Apple’s ResearchKit, an open-source platform for creating iOS apps.

BiAffect, which unobtrusively monitors mobile device usage, including keyboard dynamics such as typing speed to predict manic and depressive episodes in people with , was developed by a team led by Dr. Alex Leow, associate professor of psychiatry in the UIC College of Medicine and professor of bioengineering and computer science, and Peter Nelson, professor of computer science and dean of the UIC College of Engineering.

The BiAffect team will receive the $200,000 grand prize to continue to refine and launch their app in the App Store. The Mood Challenge is a New Venture Fund program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “The vision for BiAffect is for it to serve as a kind of ‘fitness tracker’ for the brain,” said Leow. “The Mood Challenge helped us to realize this vision, and the finished app will be a first-of-its kind tool for researchers to study mood disorders and even cognitive disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.” BiAffect would also help researchers determine the efficacy of different treatments for bipolar and other .

Read the full story.

Parkinson’s researchers use smartphones to measure disease progression, treatment effects in clinical substudy

Massachusetts General launches observational substudy using smartphones to measure Parkinson’s Disease progression and treatment effects in clinical substudy – in the smartphone substudy participants will download ‘Smart4SURE’, a customized version of the mPower application developed by Sage Bionetworks.

March 2, 2017 – Boston – Parkinson’s disease researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have launched an observational substudy designed to test the feasibility and accuracy of using patient-owned smartphones to measure symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. These efforts are part of a larger NIH-funded clinical trial, called a “Study of Urate Elevation in Parkinson’s Disease, Phase 3 (SURE-PD3),” which examines whether an oral medication called inosine can slow progression of Parkinson’s disease.

As part of the smartphone substudy—which enrolled its first patient this week—participants will download and use a customized version of the iOS-based mPower application called ‘Smart4SURE,’ a customized version of the mPower application developed by Sage Bionetworks.This application contains surveys that parallel those administered during clinic visits as well as structured activity tests that utilize the sensors in the phone to assess performance in movement tasks that are impacted by Parkinson’s disease – including walking, standing, tapping on the phone, and ‘saying ah.’

Individuals will perform self-assessments on their phone at their regular study visits, which are spaced months apart, and at home on a weekly basis.  The results of those assessments will be compared to those obtained in the clinic to determine whether they correlate and whether the data from the smartphone application provides additional insights not captured by traditional outcomes. Read the full story.