AFFECTECH – PERSONAL TECHNOLOGIES FOR AFFECTIVE HEALTH
AffecTech’s mission is to develop an innovative wearable technology platform to help people with affective health disorders (depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder) to better understand and regulate their emotions in daily life.
Our values are guided and informed by our beliefs and commitments to:
Targeted values (AIMs)
Excellence – Top quality in research, training and development drives our project
Innovation – We are committed to developing innovative technologies that can benefit society in new and impactful ways and in particular engaging personal technologies that promote self-reflection in daily life, inspiring people to make positive changes via meaningful activities
Social impact – We are dedicated to creating positive impact for individuals and society
Awareness raising – We are dedicated to starting conversations, raising awareness and combating stigma surrounding the issue of mental health
Legacy – We aim to create a legacy for future generations to follow, i.e. strengthening and boosting European innovation capacity and doctoral training structures
Enabling values (HOWs)
Investment in people – Our focus on training emphasises the nurturing of unique talents and skills, empowering future leaders and innovators
Creativity – Innovative and creative thinking are at our core, especially the ability to think “outside the box”, to reflect and spend sufficient time on the design process
Continuous improvement – We celebrate and strive for ever-greater quality through continuous improvement and commitment to our goals
Collaboration – We are committed to a culture of teamwork, and celebrating the important collaborative work of research communities across Europe
Inclusiveness – We respect people with different backgrounds and views, value diversity and are committed to equality
Integrity – We believe in good citizenship, personal accountability, and the ability to make a difference
Respect – Respect for others and especially empathy, understanding and compassion for persons with mental health problems is at our core
A unique research project delivering innovation and impact
AffecTech builds on exceptional European and North American expertise from both academic and private sector to provide personalised health research with a much needed intervention. Addressing the pressing challenge of emotional wellbeing and health in our societies, this Innovative Training Network (ITN) seeks the advancement of personal health technologies for affective disorders, notably anxiety, depression, and bipolar conditions, that are estimated to be the highest-ranking cause of disease in the Western world by 2020.
The cost associated with the lack of such skills in this area, is reflected in the alarming rate of affective disorders, estimated by 2020 to be the highest-ranking cause of disease in the developed world and in particular anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders are the most prevalent with over 33 million diagnosed people whose yearly healthcare costs exceed €100 billion. To tackle this important social challenge, the European-wide AffecTech consortium employs 15 Early Stage Researchers who are embarking on an ambitious effort to develop a high-impact software and hardware platform incorporating low-cost wearable technologies.
AffecTech integrates outstanding yet fragmented expertise in developing personal systems for mental health with the most influential models of emotion regulation from health and clinical psychology. For this, it brings together Human-Computer Interaction researchers, biomedical engineers, and clinical psychologists from leading organisations across Europe. AffecTech integrates the latest Human-Computer Interaction and Biomedical Engineering findings in designing and developing personal health systems for mental health, with the most influential outcomes and models of emotion regulation from Clinical Psychology. The AffecTech consortium is dedicated to the design, development and evaluation of personal technologies for the management of affective health disorders.
Developing excellence and expertise in interactive systems
AffecTech develops cutting-edge expertise and solutions in the interdisciplinary field of personal technologies for affective health to support people’s monitoring, understanding and regulating of emotions in daily life, i.e. the ability to alter emotional experience in a socially appropriate manner. The advances in mental healthcare technologies, interactive systems for self-management of emotional experience and biosensing technologies tracking physiological responses, highlights how interdisciplinary research can support greater wellbeing, health and social impact, with a growing emphasis on preventative health.
AffecTech not only opens up a newly exciting design space which will radically change people’s approaches to, and self-help practices for affective health and wellbeing, it marks a significant shift from current technologies capturing emotional responses whose understanding usually requires physicians input, to low-cost, non-invasive, wearable self-help technologies for visualising and regulating emotions.
The specific aim is to support self-understanding and successful adoption of adaptive emotion regulation strategies in daily life, whilst building applications for understanding of emotions and their regulatory processes, and specifically interactive tools for training adaptive emotion regulation strategies. AffecTech has also been created to develop a timely input into theoretical contributions to emotion regulation research.
A strategic research priority for European health
AffecTech is a network funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks.
Personalised health is a European priority and one of the strategic research areas for Horizon 2020, the European Union’s research and innovation programme.
Lancaster University, UK (coordinator); Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan, Sweden; Trinity College, Ireland; University of Oxford, UK; Universita Di Pisa, Italy; Universitat Jaume I De Castellon, Spain; Universita Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, Italy; Bogazici Universitesi, Turkey; Philips Electronics, Netherlands; The Leeds Teaching Hospitals National Health Service Trust, UK; Plux – Wireless Biosignals, Portugal.
Stanford University, Carnegie Melon University, University of California at Santa Cruz, University of New South Wales, Ericsson, LifeMote, dacadoo AG, Smartex SRL, Biosync Technology, Dovetailed Ltd, SilverCloud Health Ltd, Centro Clínico de Psicologia, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Codasign.
For more information about the AffecTech consortium and its research partners visit our partners page.