Continuous Behavioral Health Measurement: Better to Buy or Build?

Many industry colleagues we talk to about continuous behavioral health measurement (CBHM), tell us they can build their own capability in-house. While we respect their ambition, we believe such ambition underestimates the complexity of a CBHM capability. We have learned a lot in nearly a decade of CBHM development. Not least we have learned how challenging and complex CBHM development is.

CBHM is transforming mental health research and treatment as it provides behavioral insights, between appointments and beyond self-reporting. These insights reflect mental states more richly than status quo approaches. To this end, we believe companies that have clinical & real-world research and care delivery expertise should accelerate their progress by partnering with companies, like Ksana Health, who have done the complex work of developing CBHM. Through such partnering, they can avoid unproductive reinvention and accelerate research and care improvements.


Considerations Before You Build Your Own CBHM!

Our experience cautions would-be CBHM developers to consider the following complexities, and to consider “buy” partnerships as an alternative:

  • Engaging User Experience, which provides useful information, timely, relevant nudges, and a usable, well-differentiated experience. Usable data that yields insights and recommended next actions is crucial to an effective and adopted CBHM
  • Broad Mobile & Wearable Operating Systems (OS) Validation which accumulated trial and error experience is one of the advantages of a “buy” partnership. Working with partners who have spent years building this experience is preferable to starting from scratch.
  • Signal-to-Insight Conversion, which aids decision-making without significant additional data analysis burden. A deep data science capability achieves this.
  • Battery Life Impacts, which processes data with optimal energy consumption, a matter further complicated by an ever-changing assortment of devices and operating systems. Few will adopt a CBHM service that prematurely erodes their phone battery or significantly increases their data usage.
  • Healthcare Data Systems Interoperability, which eases clinical trial and healthcare data integration across healthcare projects and organizations. Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources is one such emerging standard, which we engage, whose use will be a key differentiator in implementation and adoption.
  • Data Privacy and Security Expertise, which protects identities, resist hacking, and minimizes the situational collection of excessive data. Working with partners who have deep expertise in these techniques and the ways in which these are evolving in response to evolving threats is important to a trusted implementation.
  • Relevant Regulations Compliance related to efficacy, safety, and security. Regulatory environments in this area are immature, rapidly evolving and challenging to stay abreast of. Working with a solution pre-vetted for relevant regulatory agencies and processes saves time and effort in development and implementation.


Ksana Health: A Good CBHM “Buy” Partnership Option

Ksana Health has been developing its expertise in these areas for the last 8 years in implementations across more than 45 academic and clinical research and healthcare institutions. In this area, we have the expertise, even Google has engaged for advice. Continuous behavioral health measurement is part of an emergent generation of technologies with promise to transform how we better assure prevention of and recovery from mental distress and disorder. Over time this capability will evolve to a ubiquitous element of research and care.

If you have been thinking about how to enhance your mental and behavioral health research and care offering, let’s talk. If you would like to know more about CBHM, take a look at our Introduction to CBHM whitepaper.


Craig DeLarge

1 September 2022

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