Public Guest Lecture: Developing computer-based mental health interventions

  • 2019-07-04
  • Research
  • e-Health

Cordial invitation to a guest talk by Prof Rafael Calvo, Imperial College London as part of the TEAM ITN Summer School


Substantial investment from government and commercial organisations in health technology reflects the opportunities to promote uniquely tailored, data-rich and autonomy-supportive tools at scale. Still many digital technologies for health and wellbeing go un-evaluated, lack an evidence base, or fall short of achieving the impact intended. Among the challenges to success is achieving the deep interdisciplinarity involved, which often requires continuous collaboration among medical professionals, psychologists, HCI researchers, user experience designers, software developers and end-users. While some projects lack theoretical grounding or an evidence-base, others fail to involve users effectively in order to understand their needs, perceptions and contexts, resulting in technologies that go unused. Working together, researchers in HCI, health and the social sciences can improve the processes by which digital technologies are developed and distributed for the benefit of population-wide health and wellbeing. In this presentation, I will share some of the multidisciplinary evidence-based approaches to the development of health technologies formerly taken at the Wellbeing Technologies Lab in Sydney, Australia, and now starting at Imperial college London. I will describe some ideas on the contributions HCI can make to this field, and share a number of case studies in the domains of chronic illness, sleep, mental health and doctor-patient communication.


Rafael Calvo is Professor of Design Engineering at Imperial College London, formerly Professor of Software Engineering and Director of the Wellbeing Technologies Lab at the University of Sydney. He is the recipient of five teaching awards, and has published four books and over 200 articles in the fields of HCI, affective computing, learning technologies and computational intelligence. His books include the Oxford Handbook of Affective Computing and Positive Computing: Technology for Wellbeing and Human Potential (MIT Press). He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Medical Internet Research – Human Factors (JMIR-HF) and is co-editing the forthcoming IEEE Transactions on Technology and Society. He is also former Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies and IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. He has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence applied to automatic document classification and has also worked at Carnegie Mellon University, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, and as a consultant for projects worldwide. A keen player in the push for more ethical technology design, Rafael is a member of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence.

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