Mental Health : Sensing & Intervention

In this UbiComp 2021 workshop, we are hoping to bring researchers together to discuss requirements, opportunities, challenges and next steps in developing novel approaches for sensing and intervention in the context of mental health.

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UbiComp 2021 workshop

Mental health issues affect a significant portion of the world's population and can result in debilitating and life-threatening outcomes. To address this increasingly pressing healthcare challenge, there is a need to research novel approaches for early detection and prevention. Toward this, ubiquitous systems can play a central role in revealing and tracking clinically relevant behaviors, contexts, and symptoms. Further, such systems can passively detect relapse onset and enable the opportune delivery of effective intervention strategies.

However, despite their clear potential, the uptake of ubiquitous technologies into clinical mental healthcare is rare, and a number of challenges still face the overall efficacy of such technology-based solutions. The goal of this workshop is to bring together researchers interested in identifying, articulating, and addressing such issues and opportunities. Following the success of past workshops, we aim to continue facilitating the UbiComp community in developing novel approaches for sensing and intervention in the context of mental health.

Call For Participation

We invite submissions in the areas and intersections of mental health, well-being, ubiquitous computing, and human-centered design, including but not limited to:

  • Design and implementation of computational platforms (e.g., mobile phones, instrumented homes, skin-patch sensors) to collect health and well-being data.

  • Investigation of new methodologies for intervention (e.g., conversational agents, AR/VR applications).

  • Design of automated inference systems from sensor data of high-level contexts (environmental, social) indicative of mental health status.

  • Design and implementation of feedback (e.g., reports, visualizations, proactive behavioral interventions, subtle or subconscious interventions etc.) for both patients and caregivers.

  • Development of robust behavioral models that can handle data sparsity and mislabeling issues.

  • Integration of multimodal data from various sensor streams for personalized predictive modeling.

  • Development of methods for sustaining user adherence and engagement over long periods of time.

  • Design of privacy-preserving strategies for data collection, analysis, and management.

  • Deployment in low-income communities/countries.

  • Identification of opportunities for UbiComp approaches (e.g., digital phenotyping, predictive modeling, micro-randomized intervention trials, adaptive interventions) to better understand factors related to addiction, drug use, and treatment efficacy and devise a research agenda in this space.

  • Integration of ubiquitous technologies into existing healthcare infrastructures and government policy.

  • Ethical aspects and frameworks for ubiquitous technologies for mental health.

  • Experience reports from clinical studies in any phase, from early pilot studies to large-scale clinical trials.

  • Experience report on regulatory issues of Ubicomp technologies for mental health, including FDA approval or CE marking.

Important Dates

  • Submission deadline: June 25, 2021 (11:59 PM EDT)

  • Decisions to authors: July 24, 2021

  • Camera-ready deadline: August 6, 2021

  • Virtual Workshop: September 26, 2021

Paper Format

We are soliciting 3 types of contributions: regular papers, challenge papers, and demonstrations (see below). Please use the SIGCHI format. Papers should be in PDF format and not anonymized.

Submission Site Please select SIGCHI→UBICOMP2021→Ubicomp 2021 Workshop Mental Health S&I

Submission Options

We are soliciting three types of contributions for the workshop:

  • Regular scientific papers both in a short (up to 3 pages) and long (up to 6 pages) format.

  • Challenge papers (describing a specific challenge to be pitched and discussed at the workshop) in a short (up to 3 pages) format.

  • Demonstrations (describing developed technologies or early systems to be demonstrated at the workshop) in a short (up to 3 pages) format.

All submitted papers will be reviewed and judged on originality, technical correctness, relevance, and quality of presentation. We explicitly invite submissions of papers that describe preliminary results or work-in-progress, including early clinical experience. The accepted papers will appear in the UbiComp supplemental proceedings and in the ACM Digital Library. The regular papers will be later invited to submit an extended version to a Special Issue ("Passive Sensing for Health") in Sensors.

Tentative Program

Time Event
9:00–9:15 Introduction
9:15–10:00 Keynote (TBA)
10:00–11:00 Paper and demo presentations
11:00–12:00 Focus session and group discussion
Potential themes:
  • Study design and evaluation
  • Integrating with clinical care
  • Long term engagement and adherence
  • Best practices for intervention design
12:00–16:00 Break
16:00–17:00 Discussion – Challenges
Potential topics:
  • Clinical challenges (recruitment to studies, retention/motivation, collaborations with clinicians)
  • Technical challenges (data collection and management)
  • Regulatory challenges (compliance to the General Data Protection Regulation, privacy)
17:00–18:00 Panel discussion
Potential topics:
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration strategies
  • Funding strategies, Publishing strategies
  • Entrepreneurship and commercialization
18:00–19:00 Paper and demo presentations II
19:00– Socializing on



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