Just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) are an exciting area of digital health that allows interventions to be delivered precisely when and how they can provide the most benefit. JITAIs, which use computer algorithms to decide when and how support is provided, address dynamically changing individual needs by delivering the type and amount of intervention required at the right time and only when needed.

Nahum-Shani et al. describe several key components to guide the design of JITAIs: decision points (the points when decisions about intervention delivery are made), intervention options (the type, timing, dose, and delivery mode that can be delivered), tailoring variables (data collecting internal state or context to decide interventions), and decision rules (determining which options to offer, to whom, and when). Ecological momentary assessments (EMAs) and mobile cognitive tests can provide real-time evaluation of the intervention via smartphone mini-assessments. The design is guided by a distal outcome (the long-term goal) achieved via changes to proximal outcomes (short-term goals).

Instead of static, one-size-fits-all treatment plans, JITAIs use mobile and wearable technology to continuously collect data about an individual's behavior and context. Advanced models and machine learning algorithms then determine the opportune moments to provide a therapeutic injection - whether that's a prompt, motivational message, skill-building exercise, or even automatic adjustment of treatment parameters.

The promise of JITAIs is revolutionary. By adapting to the ebb and flow of symptoms, circumstances, and readiness to change, interventions can be potent, timely, and minimally disruptive. Early research shows JITAIs can substantially improve outcomes across domains like:

  • Smoking cessation: Detecting cravings/lapses and delivering need-based cognitive behavioral therapy and replacement behaviors
  • Weight loss: Adjusting calorie budgets based on physical activity, prompting healthier choices during high-risk scenarios like dining out
  • Anxiety/depression: Providing psychoeducation and behavioral activation when symptoms spike, augmenting treatment between therapy sessions
  • Addiction recovery: Identifying and intercepting high-risk situations, delivering tailored motivational messaging and skills training

Building effective JITAI systems, however, is hugely complex from both a technical and clinical perspective. That's where NeuroUX comes in - it's an end-to-end platform propelling JITAI research and application into the future.

NeuroUX: The Ideal Solution for JITAIs

NeuroUX's JITAI platform is uniquely positioned to support the design and implementation of JITAI studies. Here's why:

  • No Programming Required: Researchers can simply share their requirements with our team, and we'll handle the setup and implementation, allowing you to focus on designing effective JITAIs.
  • Customizable Interventions: Our platform supports a wide range of intervention types, including personalized messages, multimedia content and interactive feedback. We can set up complex scheduling and triggering rules to deliver adaptive & context-aware JITAIs.
  • Iterative Refinement: NeuroUX allows rapid iterative refinement of adaptive intervention policies through micro-randomized trials directly embedded into field deployments. Compared to traditional methods, this data-driven approach can substantially improve clinical outcomes while also illuminating key mechanistic pathways.
  • Integration with Wearables: Our platform provides integration with popular wearable devices like Fitbit, enabling seamless data collection and expanding the possibilities for JITAI studies.
  • Mobile Cognitive Tests & EMA: Our platform provides access to Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMA) and a range of mobile cognitive tests that can be incorporated into JITAI studies. 
  • Scalability and Security: Our HIPAA-compliant platform is built to handle JITAI studies, with robust security measures in place to protect participant data.

The field of digital health is overflowing with disparate apps, wearables, and data sources. NeuroUX makes it possible to finally stitch everything together into a unified, responsive, and adaptive intervention paradigm. Interested in exploring JITAIs for your study or therapeutic area? Get in touch with our team!