Systematic review: Wearable remote monitoring to detect nonalcohol/nonnicotine-related substance use disorder symptoms

Tyler S. Oesterle, Victor M. Karpyak, Brandon J. Coombes, Arjun P. Athreya, Scott A. Breitinger, Sabrina Correa da Costa, Danielle J. Gerberi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background and Objectives: Substance use disorders (SUDs) are chronic relapsing diseases characterized by significant morbidity and mortality. Phenomenologically, patients with SUDs present with a repeating cycle of intoxication, withdrawal, and craving, significantly impacting their diagnosis and treatment. There is a need for better identification and monitoring of these disease states. Remote monitoring chronic illness with wearable devices offers a passive, unobtrusive, constant physiological data assessment. We evaluate the current evidence base for remote monitoring of nonalcohol, nonnicotine SUDs. Methods: We performed a systematic, comprehensive literature review and screened 1942 papers. Results: We found 15 studies that focused mainly on the intoxication stage of SUD. These studies used wearable sensors measuring several physiological parameters (ECG, HR, O2, Accelerometer, EDA, temperature) and implemented study-specific algorithms to evaluate the data. Discussion and Conclusions: Studies were extracted, organized, and analyzed based on the three SUD disease states. The sample sizes were relatively small, focused primarily on the intoxication stage, had low monitoring compliance, and required significant computational power preventing “real-time” results. Cardiovascular data was the most consistently valuable data in the predictive algorithms. This review demonstrates that there is currently insufficient evidence to support remote monitoring of SUDs through wearable devices. Scientific Significance: This is the first systematic review to show the available data on wearable remote monitoring of SUD symptoms in each stage of the disease cycle. This clinically relevant approach demonstrates what we know and do not know about the remote monitoring of SUDs within disease states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)535-545
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal on Addictions
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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