A Smart and Connected Health (SCH) Approach to PTSD Therapy Delivery and Practice

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) effects about 3% of the American population and approximately 20% of veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. PTSD is a debilitating mental health condition. It has many comorbidities, including substance abuse, domestic violence, suicidal ideation, and medical illnesses when left untreated. While PTSD is a chronic condition marked by considerable distress and dysfunction there are evidence-based treatments that promote recovery. Prolonged Exposure (PE) therapy has the best evidence for therapeutic efficacy. Unfortunately, access and utilization of PE is low.

This talk will present an overview of the NSF SCH funded PE Collective Sensing System (PECSS). This project seeks to address some of the pressing clinical challenges inherent in cognitive behavioral therapies by leveraging ubiquitous computing, human computer interaction and machine learning. PECSS is a novel, user-tailored sensing systems that allows patient data transfer and information extraction during therapeutic exercises, it also has interfaces (mobile application and dashboards) for monitoring this information. In the next two year we will develop, validate and deploy computational models of heterogeneous, PE related sensor data that will support and facilitate the improvement of treatment delivery and effectiveness. PECSS will allow clinicians to use automated predictions to deliver better therapeutic treatment and individualized feedback. It will also provide patients with a better understanding of the progress they are making and how to improve their exercises.

Dr. Arriaga is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Graduate Studies in the School of Interactive Computing. Her emphasis is on using psychological theories and methods to address fundamental topics of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Social Computing. Her current research interest is in the area of chronic care and mental health management. She has designed built and deployed technology to improve asthma and diabetes management in children and wellness support for individuals with high-functioning autism. Currently, she is investigating the role of mobile and ubiquitous computing to support PTSD treatment in clinical settings. She also studies the properties of lab-based technologies that allows them to be scaled and deployed to broaden their impact.
Dr. Arriaga received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University. She advises undergraduate and graduate students and teaches courses related to HCI at the College of Computing. She also teaches the User Experience Design MOOC for the Georgia Tech-Coursera partnership, with over 215K learners.



Oct 08 2021


Arizona Time
8:00 am - 9:00 am


Arizona Time, request zoom link by email


Janet Roveda

Other Organizers

Bijan Najafi

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