Keynote speakers

Dr. David Mohr

David C. Mohr, PhD, trained as a psychologist, is Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, with appointments in Departments of Psychiatry and Medical Social Sciences.  He is also the Director of Northwestern University’s Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies (CBITs;

Dr. Mohr’s work lies at the intersection of behavioral science, technology, and clinical research, focusing on the design, evaluation, and implementation of interventions that harness digital technologies to promote mental health and wellness. While there has been much research over the past decades demonstrating the potential for digital mental health, successful implementation in healthcare settings has been elusive.  The overarching goal of this work is to sustainably implement digital mental health interventions in real-world care settings.

Dr. Mohr is currently conducting research in personal sensing, using smartphone sensor data to detect behaviors related to common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.  He is also beginning design work aimed at harnessing sensor features to create applications that motivate positive behavior change.  Finally, he is conducting a system-wide roll out and evaluation of a mental health app platform, IntelliCare, in a healthcare system in Chicago.

Keynote: Rethinking digital mental health

Hundreds of randomized controlled trials have demonstrated the efficacy of digital mental health (DMH). However, despite many attempts, substantial challenges have been encountered in attempts at implementation of DMH services in real-world healthcare settings.

This talk will describe our research program, aimed at overcoming this research-to-practice gap, including 1) human computer interaction (HCI) studies with adults with depression and anxiety, and care managers in healthcare settings; 2) a platform-based intervention framework (IntelliCare) based on early HCI studies; and 3) clinical trials evaluating the IntelliCare Platform.

HCI studies revealed that people generally engage with apps that are quick to use and have a single or narrow purpose.  Designed to address these use patterns, we have taken a platform approach, as opposed to a single app for a disorder.  This platform, called IntelliCare, includes a suite of simple apps, each targeting a single behavioral strategy, with most requiring less than 30 seconds to use.

Three trials will be presented showing that IntelliCare demonstrating strong patient engagement and positive outcomes for depression and anxiety.  HCI studies with care managers and other stakeholders in leadership will be reviewed, which are supporting a system-wide rollout of IntelliCare in a Chicago-based healthcare system.