Mar 03, 2011
Online predictive tools for mental illness: The OPTIMI Project
OPTIMI is a r&d project funded by the European Commission under funded by the European Union's 7th Framework Programme "Personal Health Systems - Mental Health" .
The project has two key goals goals: a) the development of new tools to monitor coping behavior in individuals exposed to high levels of stress; b) the development of online interventions to improve this behavior and reduce the incidence of depression.
To achieve its first goal, OPTIMI will develop technology-based tools to monitor the physiological state and the cognitive, motor and verbal behavior of high risk individuals over an extended period of time and to detect changes associated with stress, poor coping and depression.
A series of “calibration trials” will allow the project will test a broad range of technologies. These will include wearable EEG and ECG sensors to detect subjects’ physiological and cognitive state, accelerometers to characterize their physical activity, and voice analysis to detect signs of depression. These automated measurements will be complemented with electronic diaries, in which subjects report their own behaviors and the stressful situations to which they are exposed. Further, the project will use machine learning to identify patterns in the behavioral and physiological data that predict the findings from the psychologist and the corticol measurements.
Although the project's objectives are very ambitious, OPTIMI represents one of the most advanced initiatives in the field of Positive Technology, so I am very excited to follow its progresses and see how far it can go.