Rethinking the use of mobile apps for dietary assessment in medical research.
- Deep Digital Phenotyping Research Unit
Food intake and usual dietary intake are among the key determinants of health to be assessed in medical research and important confounding factors to be accounted for in clinical studies. Although various methods are available for gathering dietary data, those based on innovative technologies are particularly promising. With combined cost-effectiveness and ease of use, it is safe to assume that mobile technologies can now optimize tracking of eating occasions and dietary behaviors. Yet, choosing a dietary assessment tool that meets research objectives and data quality standards remains challenging. In this paper, we describe the purposes of collecting dietary data in medical research and outline the main considerations for using mobile dietary assessment tools based on participant and researcher expectations.