WP1 - Assess [Months: 1-48]   WP Lead:  REGIONH

  1. Multimodal display of physiological information to help engage with children with anxiety disorders.
  2. Electronic behavioural smartphone-based biomarker for depression and bipolar disorder and integration with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  3. Automatic personalisation of mobile intelligent user interfaces to improve the effects of persuasive technologies for mental wellbeing.
  4. Intelligent techniques to support online mental health communities and recommend resources from 4 levels of stepped care.

1. Multimodal display of physiological information to help engage with children with anxiety disorders 

Alberto Gonzalez Olmos, Host: UoG, Partners: Telefonica Innovacion Alpha [Secondment 3 months]
Anxiety is a distressful emotion of uncontrollable worry or fear that can restrain people from concentrating, relaxing or even controlling their way of acting towards themselves or others.  Children with attachment issues may suffer sporadic episodes of behavioural dysregulation. Individuals with anxiety or attachment issues show a characteristic physiological footprint; their heart rate variability decreases and their electrodermal activity increases when a stressor is presented. Importantly, this information starts to show up before external symptoms. Alberto will explore multimodal ways of measuring and sharing these physiological: from a child to a parent or a teacher, for example. Measuring this information helps us to understand the status of the person. We can also share it with others to raise awareness of their condition and help their social circle to cope with otherwise unforeseen difficult situations.

2. Smartphone-based electronic biomarkers in adolescents with unipolar disorder and bipolar disorder, their health siblings and health control individuals.

Sigurd Arne Melbye Host: RHP, Partners: DTU [Secondment 6 months]
This study is highly original and potentially ground breaking. It will introduce completely new methods for valid diagnosis and the subsequent treatment of mental disorders in young people. Sigurd will investigate key biomarkers in automatically generated smartphone data on social activity, physical activity and voice features to help discriminate young people with depression and bipolar disorder from healthy young people. This will be done in a partnership with young people with depression and bipolar disorder (subject to strict ethical guidelines), clinicians from Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark and DTU. Sigurd to develop design guidelines for a smartphone-based cognitive behavioural therapy module, which will be developed in collaboration with Pegah Hafiz who will provide the technical build. 

3. Automatic personalisation of mobile intelligent user interfaces to improve the effects of persuasive technologies for mental wellbeing. 

Mohammed Khwaja, Host: TIA, Partners: ICL [Secondment 6 months]
This IRP will go beyond generic intervention designs by combining user modelling with personalization techniques to enable automatic adaptation of interfaces in a mobile persuasive system. Ultimately, the objective is to improve effectiveness of mobile technology-based prevention and treatment for young people. Mohammed will take advantage of already collected experimental data and will then build user models that represent the foundation for the personalization, e.g. for interaction structure, content, modality, and presentation of mobile persuasion.  Mohammed will then undertake a second use-case on designing personalized persuasive interfaces for behavioural interventions. Mohammed will synthesis the findings of use-cases to identify the most effective personalization techniques.

4. Intelligent techniques to support online mental health communities and resource recommendations for 4 levels of stepped care.

Claudette Pretorius, Host: UCD, Partners: RO [Secondment 9 months]
Claudette will conduct a review of moderated online mental health resources for young people, focusing on evaluating service/moderation models.  ESR4 will then undertake interviews and focus groups with RO moderators to gain experience of online systems that have been successfully deployed at a national scale.  Claudette will investigate intelligent techniques for assessing mental health signals in online communities and develop a responsive online tool that will help young people and service moderators to identify difficulties (e.g. gender issues, exam stress, bullying, alcohol). This tool will combine self ratings and intelligent techniques to help identify difficulties, track shifts in mood and recommend appropriate next steps from four levels of stepped care: self-help (e.g. online resources); phone service (e.g. helplines); community/voluntary support; or a relevant medical service.

Our Network Partners


  • University College Dublin

  • Denmark Technical University

  • Technical University Vienna

  • Medical University Vienna

  • Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families

  • University of Glasgow

  • Region H Psychiatry

  • Telefonica Alpha