Open talks Chapter 1
Using design technologies in psychophysics, gamification, and digital phenotyping for mental health innovation

Using design technologies in psychophysics, gamification, and digital phenotyping for mental health innovation

According to the CDC, 40% of all US adults were struggling with adverse mental health and substance abuse issues in June 2020 during COVID 19 [1]; population prevalence of clinically significant levels of mental distress rose from 18·9% in 2018–19 to 27·3% in 2020, one month into the UK lockdown [2];

2 studies investigating COVID-19 patients found a high level of post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) (96.2%) and significantly higher level of depressive symptoms (p = 0.016) [3].

The authors found a lack of a systematic review on mental health in general populations; a general lack of solutions for quantifying mental health and accounting for self reporting biases; and decreasing accessibility of in-person traditional mental healthcare during the global pandemic, even as more people choose to spend greater time on online technology platforms:

  • 44% of adult Gen Z (18-24) claim to have a Twitter account,
  • 23% check it daily-
  • and young adults in their late 20s and early 30s spent 2.6 hours a day on mobile video in 2019 [4].

The conference proceedings presented through this work will examine the specialized technologies in app-based and hardware solution developed at FullCircle for mental health [5]:

  • digital biomarkers and phenotyping as a way to supplement early detection of mental health issues[6];
  • gamification of traditional mental health care and community building to increase engagement [7],
  • and haptic and emotional cues to influence sociability and help seeking behaviors [8].

Initial findings made through FullCircle’s first implementation of a solution to variable sample size support recommendations made in cited studies that behaviorism patterns can be queued to elicit desirable responses in mental health.

External references:

1) Czeisler, M., Lane, R., Petrosky, E., Wiley, J., Christensen, A., Njai, R., Weaver, M.Robbins, R., Facer-Childs, E., Barger, L., Czeisler, C., Howard, M. and Rajaratnam, S., 2020. Mental Health, Substance Use, And Suicidal Ideation During The COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020.

  1. Pierce, M., Hope, H., Ford, T., Hatch, S., Hotopf, M., John, A., Kontopantelis, E., Webb, R., Wessely, S., McManus, S. and Abel, K., 2020. Mental Health Before And During The COVID-19 Pandemic: A Longitudinal Probability Sample Survey Of The UK Population.
  2. Vindegaard, N. and Benros, M., 2020. COVID-19 Pandemic And Mental Health Consequences: Systematic Review Of The Current Evidence.
  3. Medium. 2020. Does Gen Z Hate Twitter? Why We Use Twitter Way Less Than Other Platforms. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 October 2020].
  5. Mandryk, R. and Birk, M., 2020. The Potential Of Game-Based Digital Biomarkers For Modeling Mental Health.
  6. Fleming, T., Bavin, L., Stasiak, K., Hermansson-Webb, E., Merry, S., Cheek, C., Lucassen, M., Lau, H., Pollmuller, B. and Hetrick, S., 2020. Serious Games And Gamification For Mental Health: Current Status And Promising Directions.
  7. 2020. Emotional And Behavioral Responses To Haptic Stimulation | Proceedings Of The SIGCHI Conference On Human Factors In Computing Systems.

Jain Ananya

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