Considering the use of IoT technology for goal setting in mental health


Workshop on 25 June 2019, led by Katherine Easton, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sheffield’s School of Education.

The Internet of Things (IoT) could provide a number of solutions to support those living with mental health conditions work towards and monitor well-being goals – so long as consideration is given towards the appropriateness of the technology.

For example, could changes in lighting impact on anxiety and sleep hygiene? Could the use of wearable sensors support individuals to manage panic attacks?

Wall maps and drawings

These technological solutions do not need to be used in isolation but can complement other combinations of support, enabling people to live more independently and enjoy better health and wellbeing.

Research conducted by the collaborative Pitch-In project ‘Breaking social barriers to the use of IoT for mental healthcare’ has summarised that despite a growing interest in the use of IoT solutions for mental health, there is still much untapped potential and currently IoT is rarely used to address mental health conditions.

Today’s workshop provided the opportunity to influence research into the use of IoT in mental healthcare. Bringing together individuals with experience of working in the mental health field, alongside technology providers, the workshop considered a set of ‘narratives’ depicting some of the daily and long-term mental health challenges faced and potential technological solutions which could reduce them.

These ‘narratives’ were developed at an earlier workshop by attendees with lived experience of mental health conditions, building a picture of the challenges faced across a number of areas such as nutrition, self-care, work/money and housework.

Today’s workshop aims to develop a number of potential ‘use cases’ for technological solutions. These outcomes will then feed into a follow up session bringing together a wider range of stakeholders to debate and vote on suggestions, further exploring the ethics, human rights, clinical and practical implications of such ideas.

In many cases, across healthcare and the wider Pitch-In project themes, the collection of data itself is often the simple part but the challenge comes in the analysis and implementation to ensure it’s both useful and appropriate.

Details for the follow up workshop will be shared shortly but to register interest in advance please contact:

Read more about this Pitch-In project

Close-up of a hand drawing a wall map