Future Health Technologies Guest Lecture by Varun Mishra on Effective delivery of Digital Interventions for mental and behavioral health, 12 December 2022

We are pleased to invite you to this Guest Lecture hosted by our colleagues at the Future Health Technologies Programme at the Singapore-ETH Centre.

Monday, 12 December, 9AM -10:00AM CET

Zoom Link: https://ethz.zoom.us/my/value.lab.asia (Password: 135790)

FHT Announcement

About Varun Mishra

Dr Varun Mishra is an Assistant Professor at Northeastern University, with a joint appointment in the Khoury College of Computer Sciences and the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, where he directs the Ubiquitous Computing for Health and Well-being (UbiWell) Lab.His research interest broadly focuses on developing novel sensing and intervention systems for smartphones and wearable devices.

Specifically, he works on exploring and advancing the complete “lifecycle” of mental- and behavioral-health sensing and intervention, which includes (a) accurately sensing and detecting a mental or behavioral health condition, like stress and opioid use; (b) after detecting a particular condition, determining the right time to deliver the intervention or support, such that the user is most likely to be receptive to the interventions provided; and (c) choosing the best intervention delivery mechanism and modality to ensure just-in-time delivery and reachability.

Dr Mishra’s work is supported by NIH/NIDA and has been published in top-tier venues in both computing and medicine, like UbiComp/IMWUT, ACM HEALTH, MobiCom, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and JMIR.Dr. Mishra is also affiliated with the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) at Dartmouth College and serves as the Deputy Director for the Emerging Technologies and Data Analytics Core at CTBH. Prior to joining Northeastern, Dr Mishra was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Computer Science and CTBH at Dartmouth College. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College in 2021.

About the Lecture

The pervasiveness of sensor-rich mobile, wearable, and IoT devices has enabled researchers to passively sense various user traits and characteristics, which in turn have the potential to detect and predict different mental- and behavioral-health outcomes. Upon detecting or anticipating a negative outcome, the same devices can be used to deliver in-the-moment interventions and support to help users.

One important factor that determines the effectiveness of digital health interventions is delivering them at the right time: (1) when a person needs support, i.e., at or before the onset of a negative outcome or a psychological or contextual state that might lead to that outcome (state-of-vulnerability); and (2) when a person is able and willing to receive, process, and use the support provided (state-of-receptivity).

In this talk, I will start with an overview of my research about when to deliver interventions by exploring and detecting both vulnerability and receptivity. A majority of this talk, however, will focus on the receptivity component. First, I will discuss a two-part project regarding methods to explore and detect receptivity to interventions aimed at improving physical activity and how it can guide the design, implementation, and delivery of future mHealth interventions. Next, I will discuss a project to understand how people interact with affective well-being interventions while driving in their daily life. Finally, I will discuss my long-term vision for building complete solutions that span the entire lifecycle of a digital health intervention (from sensing to intervention delivery) for various mental and behavioral health outcomes by answering “what,” “when,” and “how” to deliver interventions.

Further details about the research programme and events, including this Guest Lecture can be found at: https://fht.ethz.ch.

Varun Mishra

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