Future of Digital Biomarkers

In this MobiSys 2021 workshop, we are hoping to bring researchers together to discuss opportunities, challenges, solutions, and next steps in developing novel mobile technologies in the context of digital biomarkers.
The Proceedings for the workshop are now available at the ACM Digital Library and the video presentations for the accepted papers are present at ACM SIGMOBILE Youtube channel

Find Out More

MobiSys 2021 workshop

Digital biomarkers are the user generated physiological and behavioral measures collected via connected digital devices or wearable and mobile computing systems that can be used to explain, influence or predict the health related outcomes. The design and development of digital biomarkers leverages novel hardware or software by rethinking traditional biomarker computing medical instruments. Examples of digital biomarkers include everything from geolocation and physical activity traces to internal physiological processes like vital signs collected by IoT devices, smartphones or novel computational platforms.

A set of accurately and reproducibly measurable digital biomarkers can be used to predict various health conditions, outcomes, and to generate actionable insights. The rich data collected with the built-in sensors and processing units of our smartphones and wearable devices have already shown a lot of promise for passive and continuous measurement of several health biomarkers which can be used to develop all sorts of new health sensing apps and interventions. The workshop aims to advance the science of digital biomarkers by bringing in key technological innovations from the areas of mobile computing, machine learning, health sciences and medicine.

Call For Participation

The Workshop on the Future of Digital Biomarkers will offer a unified forum that brings academics, industry researchers and medical practitioners together to explore the role of existing and future mobile technology for modeling, testing, and validating new digital biomarkers. The workshop aims to facilitate a systematic discussion among experts from different knowledge domains including mobile sensing, systems, machine learning, medicine, and health sciences. The workshop aims to (i) identify new digital biomarkers for capturing different physiological and behavioral health conditions and diseases, (ii) identify the key shortcomings of the existing research in terms of scalability, customizability, and sensing affordances, (iii) find realistic solutions by leveraging sensor data from a variety of mobile systems (e.g., smartphones, wearables, and IoT devices), (iv) identify key methodologies for validation and testing of the new biomarker evidence engine.

Topics of interest (NOT an exhaustive list)

  • Predicting the incidence of disease, health conditions, effects of treatments, and interventions with digital biomarkers.

  • Design and implementation of mobile phone, wearable and/or novel embedded systems based computational platforms.

  • Integration of multimodal data from different sensor streams for digital biomarker modeling.

  • Using existing IoT infrastructure for new digital biomarker modeling.

  • Improved data collection, labeling, testing and validation methodologies for digital biomarker modeling.

  • Novel signal processing or machine learning techniques for digital biomarker modeling.

  • Developing robust biomarker models that can handle data sparsity and mis-labeling issues.

  • Energy and resource efficient implementation of biomarker models.

  • Designing and implementing data feedback and visualization for both participants and caregivers.

  • Development of smartphone based automated health interventions with digital biomarkers

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: May 22, 2021 at 11:59 PM (EDT)

  • Notification deadline: June 1, 2021

  • Camera-ready workshop papers due: June 15, 2021

  • Workshop Dates: June 25, 2021


Registrations for MobiSys 2021 are now open. Please use the following link for more details.

Paper Format

Full research (up to 6 pages) or Industry demo (up to 3 pages) or Position (up to 3 pages) paper using Mobisys format. Papers should be in PDF format.

Invited Keynotes

Munmun De Choudhury

Keynote: Social Media Derived Biomarkers of Mental Health: Opportunities, Pitfalls, and the Next Frontier

Munmun De Choudhury

Associate Professor
School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology

John Brownstein

Keynote: Digital Epidemiology and the COVID-19 Pandemic

John Brownstein

Chief Innovation Officer
Harvard Medical School

Wendy Nilsen

Keynote: The Role of Science Policy in Developing Digital Biomarkers

Wendy Nilsen

Acting Deputy Division Director
Information and Intelligent Systems
Computer & Information Science & Engineering Directorate
National Science Foundation


Time (EDT) Event
9:00–9:15 Introduction
9:15-10:30 Social Media Derived Biomarkers of Mental Health: Opportunities, Pitfalls, and the Next Frontier by Munmun De Choudhury
10:30-10:45 Coffee break
10:45-12:00 Full Papers Presentations
  • Prediction of self-reported depression scores using Person-Generated Health Data from a Virtual 1-Year Mental Health Observational Study
  • Tenets Towards Smartphone-based Medical Tricorders
  • Joint Prediction of Cocaine Craving and Euphoria using Structured Prediction Energy Networks
  • Design of a Neurocognitive Digital Health System (NDHS) for Neurodegenerative Diseases
12:00-13:00 Industry and Position Papers Presentations
  • Music in Behavioral Health - From Digital Biomarker to Therapeutics
  • It Takes a Village: Development of Digital Measures for Computer Scientists
  • Digital Biomarkers from sweat analysis for therapeutic drug monitoring in soft tissue infections
  • Psycho-Physiological Impedance Matching Through Holistic Closed-Loop Cyber-Physical Systems
13:00-13:30 Lunch Break
13:30-14:45 Digital Epidemiology and the COVID-19 Pandemic by John Brownstein
14:45-15:00 Coffee break
15:00-16:30 Startup Panel
Participants: Moderator: Michael Sobolev
16:30-17:15 The Role of Science Policy in Developing Digital Biomarkers by Wendy Nilsen
17:15-17:30 Conclusion

Technical Program committee


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Michael Sobolev

Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell Tech and Northwell Health

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Tauhidur Rahman

Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Bhanu Teja Gullapalli

PhD Student, University of Massachusetts Amherst


If you have any questions, please contact Michael Sobolev (michael.sobolev@cornell.edu) or Tauhidur Rahman (trahman@cs.umass.edu) or Bhanu Teja Gullapalli (bgullapalli@umass.edu).