9 Dec 2015: Why/When might variation in treatment be therapeutic?

Susan Murphy
HE Robbins Distinguished University Professor of Statistics,
Research Professor, Institute for Social Research & Professor of Psychiatry
University of Michigan

Mobile Health concerns the use of mobile devices for both collecting real-time data, for processing these data and for delivering real-time treatment. Some of these treatments are accessible via the device 24/7 whereas other treatments are intended to be pushed adaptively and just-in-time to the user. Might there be therapeutic effect provided by varying whether or not to push a treatment or to varying the type of treatment? A potential therapeutic role of variation is inconsistent with the usual model of a Markov Decision Process. How do we rectify this inconsistency?