Machine Learning for Outcome Prediction

Machine learning methods have the potential to enable the development of more personalized approaches to treatment of mental health conditions. Digital treatment delivery may be particularly amenable to the application of these techniques. I am delighted to be a co-author of a paper from a cross-disciplinary international team, published in World Psychiatry. The paper examines the potential of machine learning to provide outcome predictions for mental health treatment, as well as considering ethical challenges surrounding the use of these techniques.… Read more

Special Issue of IEEE Pervasive on Mobile and Pervasive Computing in Mental Health

We have released the Call for Papers for a special issue of IEEE Pervasive on mobile & pervasive computing in mental health. This special issue seeks to discuss novel approaches, opportunities, and challenges for developing effective, ethical, and trustworthy pervasive computing technology for mental health. 1st July deadline, abstracts 17 June. Ethical aspects should be considered in all submissions. Guest editors are Akane Sano (Rice University), Mirco Musolesi (University College London), Gavin Doherty (Trinity College Dublin), and Thomas Vaessen (KU Leuven).… Read more

Ecological Momentary Interventions

The original vision of Ecological Momentary Interventions (EMI) – brief interventions delivered in the moment during daily life – were put forward over a decade ago. In the interim, the arrival of the smartphone has made these interventions far more feasible to deploy. At this point, it is timely to examine whether the original vision of these systems has been realised, and furthermore has the concept of EMI shifted to incorporate further possibilities opened up by these technologies? With Stephen Schueller, University of California, Irvine, and Prof.… Read more

Chairing ACM DSP

The ACM Distinguished Speaker Program allows organisers of events to request accomplished speakers in many aspects of computing, with financial support for travel coming from the ACM. It is particularly useful for ACM chapters, professsional meetups, and (not-for-profit) conferences. It is currently run under the ACM practitioners board. Having been on the committee for the last few years, and having run recruitment initiatives together with SIGCHI and SIGGRAPH, I’ve been asked to co-chair the commitee for a while. I have a number of ideas I would like to push, but if you have any feedback or suggestions on the program then let me know!… Read more

Funded PhD in HCI and Digital Health

As part of the D-Real Centre for Research Training, we are looking for an exceptional candidate for a funded PhD position in the area of design for digital health. The supervision team includes myself, Dr. David Coyle at University College Dublin, and Prof. Corina Sas from the University of Lancaster. Applicants should have a strong background in human-computer interaction and an interest in designing interventions for mental health. Further details of the topic are below, apply at this link.Read more

The design of Ecological Momentary Assessment systems

Smartphones have made it easier than ever to ask people questions “in the moment” about their feelings and activities, as they go about their daily lives. This approach, described as Ecological Momentary Assessment, is a topic of interest to researchers in a range of disciplines, including HCI, design, psychology, and mental health. But what are our options in designing these systems? In this inter-disciplinary narrative review of 342 papers, published in Interacting with Computers, we examine the challenges, choices and options facing designers of these systems.… Read more

Machine Learning in Digital Mental Health – JAMA Network Open

Engagement is one of the primary challenges in the design of digital health interventions, however interaction with these interventions is complex, and can be difficult to characterise. In this paper, we explore the use of machine learning techniques to analyse engagment in digital mental health interventions. The work was carried out in collaboration with researchers in Microsoft Research, SilverCloud Health, and TCD School of Psychology.

Chien I, Enrique A, Palacios J, Regan, T., Keegan, D., Carter, D., Tschiatschek S., Nori, A.,… Read more

Paper on Machine Learning in Mental Health Accepted to ACM ToCHI

Machine Learning can be expected to have a significant impact on the field of mental health in the coming years. Researchers in computing have been exploring the potential of these systems, looking at a variety of data sources ranging from sensor based systems to electronic health records. In this paper, we review work in the computing literature, and advocate for a more human-centered approach, in order to ethically and effectively realise the potential of these systems.

A. Thieme, D. Belgrave & G.… Read more

Microsoft Research Funded PhD on Conversational User Interfaces for Mental Health

Health self-report or self-monitoring activities, such as mood logging, are a central part of many treatments for mental health problems. It serves to help raise awareness of the person’s own feelings, daily activities and cognitive processes, and provides measures and recordings that offer information for independent action, or consultation with care providers. In addition to mood charting as a standalone activity, or an activity conducted between face-to-face therapy sessions, accurate reporting of mood is integral for wellbeing applications and technologies to function appropriately.… Read more

Back to CHI – 300,000 clients later!

At CHI 2012, we presented the first exploratory study, with 45 clients, of the SilverCloud platform for online interventions. Eight years, and over 300,000 clients later, we will be presenting two very different papers which increase our understanding of how iCBT works in practice at CHI2020. The first is a machine learning study based on analysis of 234,735 clinical supporter messages, in collaboration with researchers at Microsoft Research Cambridge (Prerna Chikersal, Danielle Belgrave and Anja Thieme), and the SilverCloud Health clinical team (A.… Read more

Personal Information in Public Health

Using personal data in mHealth apps for public health requires navigating a range of design tensions, and the area of perinatal mental health is a particularly complex setting. We explore the balance between the many concerns and constraints affecting the design of these systems (both patient and clinician interfaces), in a new (open access) paper in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies The work was carried out as part of a collaboration between ourselves at Trinity College Dublin and researchers at the School of Public Health at Imperial College London, with Marguerite Barry at UCD & Cecily Morrison at Microsoft Research Cambridge.… Read more

50 Years of Computer Science at TCD

We welcomed over 160 alumni to the Dining Hall last night to celebrate 50 years of Computer Science here at TCD, and the enduring legacy of Prof. John Byrne. His loan to me of a book during my final year project led to me pursuing my doctoral studies in the HCI group at York (the book was edited by my future supervisor, I sent him an email, and somehow ended up with a PhD studentship). Somehow it always seemed ok to pop my head in to say hello to Prof.… Read more