Lancaster University showcases innovative mental health technology


15 May 2019 13:32
A researcher helps a participant with a head mounted wearable technology

Members of the public and healthcare professionals have tried out prototypes of innovative wearables technologies for mental health being developed at Lancaster University.

They were able to test the cutting-edge technologies at a special event held at Lancaster’s The Storey on Tuesday, May 14, which was held to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.

The event was organised by a team of researchers working as part of the AffecTech project— a four-year research initiative involving partners within the NHS aimed at developing new digital tools to help people with depression, anxiety and bipolar.

Attendees included professionals from the region’s health and technology sectors, as well as leading mental health charities such as Mind and Anxiety UK.

“This was an enjoyable opportunity for public and professionals to learn more about, and have hands-on experience of, new wearable technologies for mental health that we are developing here in Lancaster,” said Corina Sas, Professor of Digital Health at Lancaster University, who also created the AffecTech project.

Professor Sas said: “Affective disorders, such as stress, depression and bipolar conditions, are estimated to be among the highest ranking causes of disease by 2020. The potential social impact of wearable health devices for people with these disorders is vast because emotional awareness and regulation are invaluable for daily functioning.

“Our project marks a significant shift from current wearable technologies that capture emotional responses that then need interpreting by health professionals, towards low-cost self-help technologies for visualising, exploring and regulating emotions that people may be able to use in their daily lives.”

More information about AffecTech can be found at: http://www.affectech.org/

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