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RADAR-CNS (Remote Assessment of Disease and Relapse – Central Nervous System)

Revolutionising the care of brain disorders with mobile technology

RADAR-CNS was a major new research programme that developed new ways of monitoring major depressive disorder, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis using wearable devices and smartphone technology.

It was jointly led by King’s College London and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative (a Public Private Partnership established between the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and the European Union) and involved 22 organisations from across Europe and the US. The programme ran from 2016 to 2022.

RADAR-CNS was one of the largest remote disease-monitoring studies in Europe, and recruited 1450  individuals with brain disorders and collected over 62 TB of data

RADAR-CNS brought together clinicians, researchers, engineers, computer scientists and bioinformaticians from all over the world with the aim of improving people’s quality of life and to provide insight into how depression, epilepsy and MS are managed and treated.

Data from mobile devices can give a full picture of a person’s condition at a level of detail which was previously impossible, offering the potential to detect changes in behaviour, sleep, or mood before the individual themselves is aware of it. This could help them to predict – or even avoid – a relapse.

Patient Advisory Board

Patients and carers were involved in RADAR-CNS from the start—helping to identify the most important symptoms to target. The patient advisory group helped researchers design and develop user-friendly technologies that also protect privacy and security.

To ensure that the views of people with conditions were incorporated into RADAR-CNS, we set up a Patient Advisory Board that included people with depression, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis along with representatives from relevant support organisations. Their role as self-employed advisors was to provide feedback on the layout and content of research materials and provide expert opinions on important decisions that were made in the design of studies.


The main objective of Technical Platforms work package of the programme was to develop the data collection platform for RADAR-CNS. This work formed the basis of the RADAR-base platform and was formally open sourced under the Apache2 licence in 2018.

The RADAR-base platform was used to collect data from a variety of wearable sensor technologies (Fitbit, Empatica E4, Faros, Biovotion), the Passive App for phone sensors (e.g. accelerometer, Bluetooth, light) and the Active App (e.g questionnaires and speech tests). RADAR-base also integrated the 3rd party THINC-IT app for cognitive testing. 

RADAR-base is now used widely for research data collection in many other projects (e.g. RADAR-AD, Covid-Collab, ART-CARMA) and has since grown a vibrant open-source community that continues to contribute to the development of the platform's data collection capabilities and functionality.