TEAM – How can technology fight mental diseases?

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The TEAM project is charged with mental diseases: These may intuively appear less dangerous compared to more tangible "serious" illnesses like cancer or AIDS. However, mental illnesses are more widespread than many other well-known illnesses: A study from 2011 examined, that nearly 40 percent of all Europeans suffer from a mental illness (source). As the half of all mental disorders emerge by 14 years and three quarters by 24 years, youth is crucial for the genesis of such diseases. At the same time, they are also the number one reason for disability - a dangerous combination for the future of young generations.

The TEAM (Technology Enabled Adolescent Mental Health) project, executed by 9 consortium members as well as 6 partner organisations from 2016 to 2020, starts at this point. It aims to explore the possibilities of technology to help young people with new, innovative services in terms of mental diseases. The areas early assessment, prevention and treatment shall be covered by these services. Additionally, the TEAM project formulates policy recommendations regarding the potential of technology in this respect. Together, TEAM has four concrete research objectives (source):

  1. Development of assessment tools for improved early diagnosis.
  2. Design of technology-enabled programs to prevent mental health difficulties.
  3. Development of technology-enabled tools for access to effective treatments.
  4. Investigation of key policy areas. As the project is still running, detailed results are still pending.

However, single results as well as an in-depth presentation of the concrete targets of the projects are already included on the project website. Evidently, the project includes "subprojects" for concrete technology-enabled services. Some of these projects include:

  • Investigate, how to use automatically generated smartphone data to distinguish between young people with depressions and bipolar disorders.
  • Develop and technological toolkit for prevention approaches.
  • Services which aim to reduce auto-aggressive behaviours in youth.

Interested in the project and its outcomes? Have a look on the further subprojects and keep an eye on the website for further developments.

Stakeholder in charge: TU Dortmund

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