Adolescent oncology patients can be vulnerable to a great deal of emotional and behavioral challenges. But which young people are most susceptible is very difficult to predict. An article recently published in Frontiers in Oncology discusses how digital phenotyping and dynamic monitoring present an opportunity to understand and predict which patients are at the most significant risk.
The article, “Digital phenotyping and dynamic monitoring of adolescents treated for cancer to guide intervention: embracing a new era” was co-authored by Dr. Luca Pani, VP of Regulatory Strategy and Market Access Innovation at VeraSci.Adolescence is an important period for physical, social, and emotional development. It is also the time when many mental illnesses first emerge. For adolescents with cancer, general vulnerability to mental illness is compounded by physical and psychological symptoms associated with treatment and interruptions in relationships with their peers. While some adolescents can develop great emotional and mental resilience during the course of their cancer treatment, it is often difficult to distinguish the resilient from the vulnerable, which can prevent timely intervention. Digital phenotyping captures ongoing objective measurements in patients’ daily lives, provides a continuous stream of information, and uses real-time algorithms to detect any pattern changes that may be cause for alarm.