Breaking social barriers to the use of IoT for mental healthcare

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< Project Overview >

There is an increasingly large market for personal technologies which monitor users’ behaviours and physiology. However, research has revealed increasing fears about the replacement of face-to-face services by technology paired with a potential lack of knowledge and trust regarding available digital technologies among patients, public and health professionals.

This project proposes to explore the practicalities of applying IoT solutions to monitor mental health in consumer’s homes, and to understand patients’ and carers’/family members’ perceptions and attitudes towards data acquisition and retention.

The project will involve academics, representatives from IoT technology companies, and patients and carers with lived experience of mental health conditions. It will be carried out via a series of workshops (see update here), using creative and innovative methods to consider how an IoT solution(s) to monitor mental (and physical) health may work, specifically for the purpose of goal setting in mental health recovery. Recruitment for the 12-month project will be conducted through the University of Sheffield’s existing links with patient groups and health service.


The project has a number of expected outcomes including the dissemination of case studies detailing how IoT solutions could be implemented within a user’s daily routine to collect data and monitor mental health and wellbeing. Further collaborations are expected following the project to expand its reach and impact.

Project lead:

Dr Katherine Easton, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sheffield’s School of Education

Project partners:

Service users, carers and family and other healthcare stakeholders to be recruited.

Engagement opportunities:

The project welcomes any contact from individuals looking to take part in the workshops including: individuals with lived experience of mental health conditions, technologists, clinicians and commercial companies involved in IoT solutions.

See upcoming creative workshops taking place on the 27th Nov, 4th Dec and 11th Dec in Sheffield demonstrating the ways technology can be used in different mental health scenarios and capturing thoughts about the future of digital technology in mental health care.

Two previousy workshops have been held:

  • The first brought together individuals with lived experience of mental health conditions to create a series of narratives depicting some of the challenges faced.
  • The second brought together individuals with expierence of working in the mental health field, alongside technology providers, to consider appriopriate IoT solutions to these identified challenges. More detail on this is available here.







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