Embedded Digital Interventions into Everyday Life: Measuring Mood with Wearable Technology

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: School of Computer Science


Most mental health problems persist over long periods of time, so any self-help tools should also be used regularly and for a long time. This PhD will explore the challenges and opportunities of using ubiquitous technologies to more richly interleave mental health interventions with the patterns of daily life to naturally achieve this. The spread of first mobile and now ubiquitous computing as well as the Internet of Things into daily life is drastically reshaping when and where we encounter digital technologies. This might have profound consequences for how we deliver mental healthcare interventions, for example in which digital technologies engage us frequently, regularly and at opportune moments. Cues to determine when and how interactions with a person should occur could be learned from personal data, and incremental learning could be used to adapt to each user over time.

Planned Impact

We intend the Horizon CDT to be the place where partners come to find their future employees and to engage with the opportunities and challenges of digital identity and personal data. The key beneficiaries of our research will be:

- Commercial private sector companies that will engage with our CDT students during their research and/or employ them after graduation. Our partners include companies developing digital identity technologies as well as user companies across a range of sectors (consumer goods, entertainment, transportation, energy and others).

- Public sector and third sector organisations that are concerned with the use of digital identities to support civil society including broadcasters, healthcare providers and campaign groups.

- The public whose personal data forms the focus of their research and who will ultimately use and come to depend upon digital identities.

- Research communities spanning computer science, engineering, psychology, sociology, business and humanities.

These will benefit in various ways.

- Commercial, public and third sector companies will benefit from being able to recruit from a pool of talented PhD graduates who bring an in-depth understanding of digital identity and a proven ability to work in interdisciplinary teams. They will also benefit from being able to participate in co-creation of PhD research to ensure focus on relevant challenges and be able to exploit results of this PhD research.

- The public will benefit through a greater understanding of the opportunities and challenges of digital identity.

- Research communities will benefit by opening up promising new interdisciplinary fields.

Our Impact activities will be driven by Professor Derek McAuley, the Director of Horizon, who has a track record of establishing industry labs, spinning our companies and who is currently acting CIO of the TSB funded Connected Digital Economy Hub. Key activities will be:

- All Horizon PhDs will be carried out in collaboration with an external partner who will be involved in drawing up the initial topic, recruiting students, shaping the PhD proposal, supervision, and hosting at least one internship

- We will continue to organise knowledge exchange events within Horizon that are open to our network of over 100 external partners, including our annual Horizon Research Conference.

- We will encourage the release of applications, open source software, and open datasets wherever collaboration agreements allow.

- We will actively encourage our students to spin-out new ventures, including providing seedcorn funding through Horizon.

- We will engage our students with our two partner catapults, the Connected Digital Economy Catapult and the Satellite Applications Catapult.

- We will actively encourage industry visits through guest lectures on our "Broadening Horizons" core taught programme.

- We will also encourage companies to define, steer and sponsor the first year interdisciplinary team projects.

- Our students will complete a module on Public and External Engagement and are encouraged to engage in public events and exhibitions.

- Horizon's journalist-in-residence will help expose students research to the wider world through regular blogposts, while the University's marketing and communications team will help them develop press releases.

- We will provide training in research publication as part of the Professional Skills module and mentor publications through the Practice Led Project and the annual writing retreat (where students present and critique draft papers).

These impact activities will be supported by a professional online presence with posters, demos and podcasts made available through our website and associated YouTube channel and twitter feed, and with individual PhD profiles being posted on our own site and on external networking portals such as LinkedIn and ResearchGate.


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