Mobile psychiatry: Personalised Ambient Monitoring for the mentally ill

Prociów, Paweł (2011) Mobile psychiatry: Personalised Ambient Monitoring for the mentally ill. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Mental health has long been a neglected problem in global healthcare. The social and economic impacts of conditions affecting the mind are still underestimated. However, in recent years it is becoming more apparent that mental disorders are a growing global concern that is not to be trivialised. Considering the rising burden of psychiatric illnesses, there is a necessity of developing novel services and researching effective means of providing interventions to sufferers. Such novel services could include technology-based solutions already used in other healthcare applications but are yet to make their way into standard psychiatric practice.

This thesis presents a study on how pervasive technology can be utilised to devise an “early warning” system for patients with bipolar disorder. The system, containing wearable and environmental sensors, would collect behavioural data and use it to inform the user about subtle changes that might indicate an upcoming episode. To test the feasibility of the concept a prototype system was devised, which was followed by trials including four healthy volunteers as well as a bipolar patient. The system included a number of sensory inputs including: accelerometer, light sensors, microphones, GPS tracking and motion detectors.

The experiences from the trials led to a conclusion that a large number of sensors may result in incompliance from the users. Therefore, a separate investigation was launched into developing a methodology for detecting behavioural patterns in inputs possible to collect from a mobile phone alone. The premise being that a phone is an everyday use appliance and is likely to be carried and accepted by the patient. The trial revealed that monitoring GPS tracks and Bluetooth encounters has the potential of gaining an insight into a person’s social and behavioural patterns, which usually are strongly influenced by the course of bipolar disorder.

Lessons learned during these proceedings amounted to a clearer concept of how a future personalised ambient monitoring system could improve the outcome of treatment of bipolar disorder as well as other psychiatric conditions.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Crowe, J.A.
Hayes-Gill, B.R.
Keywords: bipolar disorder, sensors, mobile phone technology, Personalised Ambient Monitoring
Subjects: T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK5101 Telecommunication
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK7800 Electronics
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Item ID: 12152
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2012 09:51
Last Modified: 21 Dec 2017 20:46

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