Congratulations to the Finalists!

We are thrilled to announce the finalists in the Mood Challenge for ResearchKit. Following Semi-Finalist Presentations last month, our judges have selected Aware Study and BiAffect as the two teams to receive $100,000 each and advance to the Finalist Incubation and Testing phase of the Challenge!

The Challenge, a New Venture Fund program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and powered by Luminary Labs, launched in April seeking proposals for ResearchKit studies that will further our understanding of mood and how it relates to our daily lives, health, and well-being.

In July, five semi-finalists received $20,000 and entered the Virtual Accelerator, which kicked off with a two-day in-person Boot Camp featuring experts in ResearchKit, iOS UX/UI, medical research, and psychology. Proposals aimed to bring fresh insights and capabilities around mood, biology, and social context to both researchers and users with new methods for mental health diagnostics, clinical care delivery, daily wellness tracking, and behavioral interventions.

The two finalists will spend the coming months developing their designs into prototypes to pilot with iPhone users. Next April, the finalists will submit their Round 3 Submissions, including a final report of preliminary learnings from user testing, data analysis, and plans for full development. One winner will be chosen to receive the $200,000 award and finalize their ResearchKit study for launch in the App Store.

“Aware Study and BiAffect are using unique mobile sensing capabilities to capture unprecedented and socially contextualized data while working toward predictive models of mood,” said Paul Tarini, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “These ResearchKit studies have the potential to transform our understanding of these conditions and improve millions of patients’ lives.”

Want to help? Learn more about Aware Study and BiAffect and sign up to try out the apps at

Congratulations to the finalists:

Aware Study 
Aware aims to be the largest applied research study to assess mood and its relationship to PTSD and will seek to tailor insights to an individual’s context. The study lasts 28 days and asks participants to respond to surveys every week and perform two daily tasks, all while collecting data passively.

BiAffect is a system for understanding mood and neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder using keystroke dynamics, such as typing speed and errors, to track and predict mood episodes. Alteration in communication is one of the main, problematic symptoms of bipolar disorder. This study will unobtrusively monitor non-verbal speech/behaviors to improve our understanding of mood disorders and provide a means of predicting future mood fluctuations.