Our researchers

Chris Greenhalgh (University of Nottingham), Kapil Sayal (University of Nottingham), Jim Warren (University of Auckland), Vajisha Wanniarachchi (University of Auckland),Kevin Glover (University of Nottingham)

HabitsIn this theme a ‘digital intervention’ is something like an app or website that is meant to help someone’s mental health. A digital ‘platform’ is a computer system or website that brings together different kinds of people – in this case we are bringing together researchers, providers of digital interventions and current or potential users of those interventions. ‘Precision-medicine’ is about selecting and tailoring treatment for the specific individual who will receive it. 


Practically, we are working on a number of interactive websites and apps. This includes the SPARX app (our Research Project 6) and CaTS-APP (Research Project 8), as well as ‘HABITs,’ a website that helps researchers to test mental health apps and websites, developed at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. 

The CaTS-App

We particularly want to find ways to encourage someone to continue using a digital intervention that might be working for them. This is because we know that lots of people give up very quickly (if they use it at all). We think that a virtual agent might be a good way to help with this. This virtual agent – which Sprouting Minds have suggested might be a virtual animal – would be a part of the platform. For example, it might remind someone to use the SPARX app (for example) and answer simple questions about it. We will be working with Sprouting Minds and other young people to test different versions of this virtual agent. We want to find out together if different people want different kinds of virtual agents, and when it is appropriate to use one. We also want to understand more about how a virtual agent might complement human support.

Project partners

University of Nottingham
University of Auckland