Current Psychiatry Reports

, 21:131 | Cite as

Precision Medicine and Suicide: an Opportunity for Digital Health

  • Maria Luisa BarrigonEmail author
  • Philippe Courtet
  • Maria Oquendo
  • Enrique Baca-García
Precision Medicine in Psychiatry (S Kennedy, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Precision Medicine in Psychiatry


Purpose of Review

A better understanding of suicide phenomena is needed, and precision medicine is a promising approach toward this aim. In this manuscript, we review recent advances in the field, with particular focus on the role of digital health.

Recent Findings

Technological advances such as smartphone-based ecological momentary assessment and passive collection of information from sensors provide a detailed description of suicidal behavior and thoughts. Further, we review more traditional approaches in the field of genetics.


We first highlight the need for precision medicine in suicidology. Then, in light of recent and promising research, we examine the role of smartphone-based information collection using explicit (active) and implicit (passive) means to construct a digital phenotype, which should be integrated with genetic and epigenetic data to develop tailored therapeutic and preventive approaches for suicide.


Suicide Attempted suicide Precision medicine Mobile health Big data Ecological momentary assessment 


Funding Information

This work was partially funded through ANR (the French National Research Agency) under the “Investissements d’avenir” programme with the reference ANR-16-IDEX-0006, Carlos III (ISCIII PI16/01852), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (LSRG-1-005-16), Structural Funds of the European Union, MINECO/FEDER (“ADVENTURE”, id. TEC2015-69868-C2-1-R), and MCIU Explora Grant “AMBITION” (id. TEC2017-92552-EXP).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Maria Luisa Barrigon reports grants from Instituto de Salud Carlos III, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and from Structural Funds of the European Union, MINECO/FEDER.

Philippe Courtet reports grants from American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, grants and personal fees from Fondamental Foundation, and personal fees from Janssen.

Maria Oquendo receives royalties for the commercial use of the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale, and Dr. Oquendo’s family owns stock in Bristol Myers Squibb.

Enrique Baca-García reports grants from Instituto de Salud Carlos III, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and from Structural Funds of the European Union, MINECO/FEDER.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Luisa Barrigon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Philippe Courtet
    • 3
  • Maria Oquendo
    • 4
  • Enrique Baca-García
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryFundación Jiménez Díaz HospitalMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryAutónoma UniversityMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of Emergency Psychiatry & Acute Care, Academic hospital of Montpellier, INSERM U1061Montpellier UniversityMontpellierFrance
  4. 4.Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryRey Juan Carlos University HospitalMóstolesSpain
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryGeneral Hospital of VillalbaMadridSpain
  7. 7.Department of PsychiatryInfanta Elena University HospitalValdemoroSpain
  8. 8.Universidad Católica del MauleTalcaChile

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