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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 Aug 2022 - 26 Aug 2022


Human Studies, Pharmacology/Drug Development

2022 Aug 22

NPJ Digit Med



Impact of individual and treatment characteristics on wearable sensor-based digital biomarkers of opioid use.


Chapman BP, Gullapalli B T, Rahman T, Smelson D, Boyer EW, Carreiro S
NPJ Digit Med. 2022 Aug 22; 5(1):123.
PMID: 35995825.


Opioid use disorder is one of the most pressing public health problems of our time. Mobile health tools, including wearable sensors, have great potential in this space, but have been underutilized. Of specific interest are digital biomarkers, or end-user generated physiologic or behavioral measurements that correlate with health or pathology. The current manuscript describes a longitudinal, observational study of adult patients receiving opioid analgesics for acute painful conditions. Participants in the study are monitored with a wrist-worn E4 sensor, during which time physiologic parameters (heart rate/variability, electrodermal activity, skin temperature, and accelerometry) are collected continuously. Opioid use events are recorded via electronic medical record and self-report. Three-hundred thirty-nine discreet dose opioid events from 36 participant are analyzed among 2070 h of sensor data. Fifty-one features are extracted from the data and initially compared pre- and post-opioid administration, and subsequently are used to generate machine learning models. Model performance is compared based on individual and treatment characteristics. The best performing machine learning model to detect opioid administration is a Channel-Temporal Attention-Temporal Convolutional Network (CTA-TCN) model using raw data from the wearable sensor. History of intravenous drug use is associated with better model performance, while middle age, and co-administration of non-narcotic analgesia or sedative drugs are associated with worse model performance. These characteristics may be candidate input features for future opioid detection model iterations. Once mature, this technology could provide clinicians with actionable data on opioid use patterns in real-world settings, and predictive analytics for early identification of opioid use disorder risk.