Mobile Crowdsensing for the Juxtaposition of Realtime Assessments and Retrospective Reporting for Neuropsychiatric Symptoms
Many symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders such as tinnitus are subjective and variable over time. Typically, patients are asked to report symptoms, their severity, and duration retrospectively, e.g., in interviews or self-report questionnaires. However, little is known on how well such retrospective reports correspond with the experience of the symptoms at the moment they occurred in daily life. Mobile technologies can help in that end: mobile self-help services allow patients to record their symptoms prospectively, when (or short after) they occur in daily life. The storage and processing of these prospectively assessed data require specific databases solutions. In this study, we present the mobile self-help service TrackYourTinnitus. We used its database consisting of real-time entries provided by individuals experiencing tinnitus to show that there is a discrepancy between the prospective assessment of symptom variability and the retrospective report thereof. This indicates that mobile technologies like TrackYourTinnitus may go beyond the role of an assistive service for the patients by contributing to more accurate diagnosis and as a consequence to a more elaborated treatment.