Dutch youth care organization Spirit, Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM), join forces in the new innovation activity of EIT Digital. All parties contribute to this pan-European community. The Digital Wellbeing project collaborators aim to develop a smartphone application called “G-Moji” to support youth with mental health issues. In recent years, in the Netherlands, budgets for youth aid decreased by roughly 24% while more and more young people need mental healthcare with complex needs.
Self –help in the palm of your hand
The new intervention is targeted at youth professionals working with youth at-risk to support personalized decision making and interventions of young clients with mental problems. The analysis of big data –collected through the usage of the new smartphone application- will help professionals predict the mental state and behavioral patterns of youth aged between 16 – 24 years. By using the smartphone, youth and professionals inform each other real-time about problematic situations which should result in reducing clinical treatments and improving ambulatory treatment. Potentially, this will lead to better tailor-made care, on-distance if suitable. The current use of smartphones by this group allows for a wide range of big data measurements through self-monitoring and hard- and software sensors embedded in the mobile phone. The measurements make it possible to detect mental, emotional and behavioral youth problems quickly, resulting in a more effective and customized intervention than conventional solutions such as questionnaires and interviews.
Forecasting models for mental well-being
During the project, CWI will be responsible for analyzing the data obtained from mobile and social interaction, physical activity and speech recognition. Based on these analyses CWI will develop and evaluate forecasting models for interventions. In ensuring all of this, CWI will make use of many years of experience in data analytics and the development of quantitative models. Universidad Politécnica de Madrid will provide the mobile technology to integrate an emotion recognition model, based on different inputs (speech tones, digital and physical activity, direct user-feedback, etc.). All the analytics will be completed in the mobile device which enables the user to keep total control over data collection. Only bundled and conveniently anonymized data will be forwarded to the cloud, following a privacy model specifically designed for the service. A team of design experts and child and youth experts of Garage2020, a network of innovation hubs spread across the Netherlands, will lead this project. Levi van Dam, activity leader from Garage2020, explains: ‘we hope to identify forecasting models of mental well-being which makes it possible for youth to improve their lives, at a time and pace which suits them and therefore makes them more resilient’. During the course of 2019 in total 50 at-risk youth will participate in this innovation project and co-create with care-providers, data-science experts and design experts, their new intervention.