UTFacultiesBMSCompassionate Technology Project

Compassionate Technology Project

Designing Compassionate Technology for sustainable Mental Health Care

Costs and demand for mental healthcare are continuously rising. Technology could contribute to relieving this strain by mediating, facilitating or providing therapeutic treatment. However, this raises the question: can technology take a big role in mental health, where human connection and values (such as compassion) are so important? To facilitate the integration of technology into mental health care, we propose to put compassion first, both in its design process and further use.

Compassion means recognizing suffering and being motivated to alleviate it. Therefore, we see compassionate technology as technology that facilitates and enables the recognition and relieving of human suffering.

In this project, we explore how to embed compassion in design for technology (design for values), how technology can be evaluated on compassion, and how therapists and technology can optimally work together to alleviate suffering.

To do so, we built a multidisciplinary team, consisting of researchers from both interaction design and psychology at the university of Twente. Furthermore, we work with mental health care organizations such as Dimence groep, and the eHealth developer Minddistrict. The project is subsidized by a NWO (the Dutch research council) grant, for its relevance for society and health.

Project goals

The main aim of this project is to propose a new perspective on the design and use of technology for mental health care: with compassion as the guiding force and motivation. Firstly, we will work on empowering therapists with a structured, evidence based Blended Treatment way of working, which is also rooted in the principles of compassionate technology. Secondly, we will design innovative technology around the value of compassion. Ultimately, these activities can lead to more sustainable mental healthcare, where both people and technology together contribute to compassionate treatment.

We are looking for participants!

We are currently seeking individuals who are interested in participating. We are specifically looking for clients who are either currently undergoing mental health treatment or have completed it within the past year and are at least 18 years old. If you or someone you know fits this criteria, kindly inform us as we would greatly appreciate your involvement. Our goal is to gather insights on the significance of technology in promoting compassion during treatment.

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