Real-time digital monitoring of a suicide attempt by a hospital patient

Coppersmith DDL, Wang SB, Kleiman EM, Maimone JS, Fedor S, Bentley KH, Millner AJ, Fortgang RG, Picard RW, Beck S, Huffman JC, Nock MK. Real-time Digital Monitoring of a Suicide Attempt by a Hospital Patient. General Hospital Psychiatry. 2023;80:35-39. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2022.12.005


Suicide is among the most devastating problems facing clinicians, who currently have limited tools to predict and prevent suicidal behavior. Here we report on real-time, continuous smartphone and sensor data collected before, during, and after a suicide attempt made by a patient during a psychiatric inpatient hospitalization. We observed elevated and persistent sympathetic nervous system arousal and suicidal thinking leading up to the suicide attempt. This case provides the highest resolution data to date on the psychological, psychophysiological, and behavioral markers of imminent suicidal behavior and highlights new directions for prediction and prevention efforts.

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