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Special Issue


Mental Health and the Impact of Ubiquitous Technologies

Personal and Ubiquitous Computing Journal

Bert Arnrich, ETH Zurich
Venet Osmani, CREATE-NET
Jakob Bardram, IT University of Copenhagen

Call for Papers
The majority of research within Ubiquitous Healthcare has been focused largely on somatic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, heart failure and obesity.

While some research has been directed towards dementia and autism, less focus has been given to the major mental disorders and to the maintenance of mental wellbeing. However mental disorders - including depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder - affect around a quarter of all people at some time during their life. These disorders are universal affecting all countries and societies, and individuals at all ages. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental disorders have a major negative direct and indirect impact on economy and on the quality of life of individuals and families; and work-related stress was recently found as the second most common work-related health problem across the EU.

Ubiquitous computing technologies hold an immense potential for the treatment of mental diseases and for maintaining mental health. Currently, medical care staff do not have a detailed, long-term view of the disease or objective measures based on physiology or behaviour at hand that can be used for making a definitive diagnosis for mental disease symptoms, monitoring treatment response, or predicting occurrence of symptoms. The current standards for diagnosis are still based on questionnaires and subjective clinical rating scales that were developed in the early 1960s.

Ubiquitous computing technologies can provide support for diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders and maintenance of mental wellness through providing innovative ways of administering therapy; monitoring for early warning signs to allow patients to better manage their condition; providing objective measurement of symptoms and prediction of disease onset; enabling long term monitoring to infer disease patterns and evaluate effectiveness of therapy; and, providing support for long-term maintenance of mental wellness.

Topics of interest
For this special issue topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Bio and physiological measurement technology

  • Unobtrusive long-term monitoring system

  • Wearable sensors and brain to computer interfaces

  • Innovative algorithms for assessment of long-term physiological and behavioral data

  • Prediction of disease or episode onset

  • Decision support for therapy planning

  • Tele health and mobile technology

  • Interaction Designs and Applications for patient self-care

  • Virtual reality systems for therapy

  • Persuasive technologies and approaches for changing behaviors

  • Games in assessment and therapy

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, speech therapy, music therapy and development of new therapies

  • Support for preventative measures

  • Supporting maintenance of mental wellness


Final manuscript submission: January 21, 2011

Papers should be around 10-15 pages (soft limit) using the journal template provided here.

Please submit the manuscript directly to the editors at:
ubihealth [-at-] create-net.org