Until recently, mobile app-based research has been limited to those with big research budgets or advanced technology skills. And even those who could conduct mobile app-based research were limited by the complexity and inflexibility of available systems. LifeData is changing this.

We’ve created a user-friendly and flexible system for conducting a wide variety of research using real-time assessment and intervention strategies. Our system let’s you easily build mobile app-based assessments and/or interventions (we call them “LifePaks”) and distribute them through our free RealLife Exp app to anyone using iOS or Android devices. Once a LifePak is up and running, researchers can monitor data as it streams in and easily download data for analysis.


Since the 1980s, researchers have recognized the value of gathering data in real-time and in the context of everyday life. However, promising “experience sampling” or “ecological momentary assessment” (EMA) strategies have not been widely implemented because there was no easy way to integrate EMA into daily life. Taking advantage of advances in smartphone technology, the LifeData system solves this problem. It allows you to create EMA designs (LifePaks) with our easy-to-use web-based LifePak Builder & Management system. Then, the EMA LifePak you build can be distributed to research participants who can download it through the RealLife Exp mobile app. And you are able to restrict who is able to download your LifePak.

You can design your LifePak to gather data in three different ways: through Start-up sessions, Notification-initiated sessions and/or User-initiated sessions.

Start-up sessions allow the one-time collection of data. A startup session can be used as a pretest, or to collect demographic data, and functions like a one-time survey. It can also be used to provide instructions to your participants.

Notification-initiated sessions (NIS) require you to create a schedule for participants to be asked questions throughout the moments of daily life. This allows for repeated, in the moment, sampling. Notifications can be scheduled at precise times or at random times. You can also make the questions delivered with each notification the same or varied.

User-initiated sessions (UIS) allow for event-contingent data gathering. With this feature, certain questions can be made available so that a participant can access them at will or after the occurrence of a pre-defined event; for example, a panic attack.


The LifeData system allows you to go beyond EMA and create LifePaks for the purpose of ecological momentary intervention (EMI). These LifePaks break into the routines of daily life in order to help participants be more self-aware and provide cues for engaging in new thought or behavioral patterns.

For EMI purposes:

Start-up sessions can serve as a pretest and provide baseline measurements.

Notification-initiated sessions provide a way to schedule notifications that deliver prompts aimed at either helping participants become more self-aware, or engage in new thought or behavioral patterns. Again, these notifications can be scheduled at precise or random times throughout the day.

User-initiated sessions allow you to provide training sessions, motivational statements, inspiring images and other tools to engage participants in different thought or behavioral patterns during particularly problematic events. For example, an addictions researcher might create a session aimed at helping people manage cravings.

Checkout pricing & plans to see what LifeData can do for you

Pricing & Plans