Smartphone-Based Passive Sensing in Monitoring Patients With Cancer: A Systematic Review.

Stuijt DG, Radanovic I, Kos M, Schoones JW, Stuurman FE, Exadaktylos V, Bins AD, Bosch JJ, van Oijen MGH

Patients with cancer are prone to frequent unplanned hospital visits because of disease or treatment complications. Smartphone-based passive sensing (SBPS) comprises data collection using smartphone sensors or device usage patterns, which may be an affordable and burdenless technique for remote monitoring of patients with cancer and timely detection of safety events. The aim of this article was to systematically review the published literature to identify the current state of SBPS in oncology care and research.

A literature search was done with cutoff date July 29, 2022, using six different databases. Articles were included if they reported original studies using SBPS in patients with cancer or cancer survivors. Data extracted from studies included type of sensors used, cancer type, study objectives, and main findings.

Twelve studies were included, the oldest report being from 2017. The most frequent of the nine analyzed sensors and smartphone analytics was the accelerometer (eight studies) and geolocation (eight studies), followed by call logs (two studies). Breast cancer was the most studied cancer type (eight studies with 111 patients), followed by GI cancers (six studies with 133 patients). All studies aiming for feasibility concluded that SBPS in oncology was feasible (seven studies). SBPS was used as a monitoring tool, with passively sensed data being correlated with adverse events, symptom burden, cancer-related fatigue, decision conflict, recovery trends after surgery, or psychosocial impact. SBPS was also used in one study as a predictive tool for health deterioration.

SBPS shows early promise in oncology, although it cannot yet replace traditional tools to monitor quality of life and clinical outcomes. For this, validation of SBPS will be required. Therefore, further research is warranted with this developing technique.