Solutions

Ethica enables researchers to observe participants’ behaviors on a continuous basis, through sensor-based physiological data and self-reports.

Symptoms, Cognitions, and Behavior Assessment

Ethica allows assessment of symptoms, cognitions, and behaviors on a 24x7 basis, and assessing its temporal relationship to risk factors and exposures. The assessment can be done through the following methods:

Sensors

Ethica can leverage sensors available in smartphones and wearables to collect high—resolution data on physiological factors or surrounding environment, such as their physical activity, pose, social context, or location.

Surveys

Brief surveys (EMAs) enquiring about the participant’s activities and context is a valuable tool to augment sensor—based data with qualitative information. Examples include medication compliance, dietary intake, or other aspects of social context.

Detailed Observation on Aspects of Life

Many aspects of a participant’s life important for understanding behavior go uncaptured using traditional tools. For example, the degree of predictability of a person’s experience may significantly influence their responses to survey questions. Ethica allows observing the texture of day-to-day life for participants in far greater depth than is possible using traditional survey instruments. Such observation helps us to learn if there is a relationship between the degree of predictability in an individual’s life and their health status, physical activity, socialization, mobility, or other factors. Subsequently, Ethica allows investigating the interventions that increase predictability and stability, assuming a positive relationship.

Better Understanding of Implemented Interventions

Ethica allows enhancing the speed, reliability, and depth of learning from implemented interventions through the use of Ethica’s monitoring capabilities. More specifically, when an intervention succeeds or fails, because of limitations on traditional measurements instruments, there is often limited understanding of the specific pathways by which such success was realized or thwarted. Ethica is designed to inform an accurate understanding of the particular pathways by which an intervention affects important outcome measures (e.g., frequency and intensity of pain associated with osteoarthritis).

This sort of analysis is particularly powerful in the context of dynamic models (although not contingent upon such models), which can deepen, speed, and make more robust the learning process, because they also depict posited changes across multiple pathways.

Regardless of whether an intervention is successful or not in the end, the learning from it can be much deeper, more reliable and quicker by virtue of being able to examine which and by how much and how soon different pathways were affected. For example, such learnings can allow observers to distinguish pathways that were successfully nudged vs. pathways that became a bottleneck and thereby stymied change in the outcomes of interest, or particular pathways that exerted disproportionate impact for interventions that did have effect. Regardless of the success of the original intervention, securing such understanding from it can be of great value in devising more reliable interventions and implementation schemes.

The following sections discusses some of the advantages Ethica provides in different subdomains.

Obesity

How Ethica can help designing and evaluating lifestyle interventions targeting obesity?

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Communicable Diseases

How Ethica can help measuring important factors related to outbreaks of communicable diseases.

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Environmental Epidemiology

How Ethica can help to understand the degree to which variability in exposure explains variability in outcomes within a population.

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