Mobile systems for behavioural change
The rapid development of smartphone technology creates great opportunities for supporting a healthier lifestyle. This project develops ways through which users can trust health support systems and are willing to use them without this affecting their intrinsic motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Persuasive Health technologies offer significant opportunities for innovation. At the same time, there are fundamental questions at the crossroads between technology and influencing behaviour. This project will contribute significantly to the psychological and ethical frameworks of this technology so that innovation is achieved in a responsible manner.
Thanks to the development and availability of sensors (Internet of Things, smartphones, smart watches, and other wearables), intelligent algorithms and deep learning techniques – and thanks to the exponential increase in computing power of mobile computers – we can gather and analyse vast quantities of information on human behaviour. These big data can be extremely useful to better understand the impact of lifestyle on human health and to positively influence this.
Persuasive technologies, which are designed with the aim of influencing our behaviour and attitude, play an important role in this type of innovation. In addition to eHealth systems (electronic health, i.e. the use of new information and communication technologies, particularly internet technology), mobile persuasive technology has now also found its way into the digitisation of health care, including through mHealth apps (mobile health, i.e. through mobile devices such as smartphones, pedometers and GPS).
Research into the extent to which an application can encourage someone to make a lasting behavioural change is still in its infancy, and there are a number of important questions to be addressed. What combination of persuasive technologies works best to get people intrinsically motivated to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and what are the relevant individual differences? How do we ensure that the ethical frameworks are maintained and that people can trust that their personal data will be handled confidentially? What information must the system share with the user so that their confidence in the system is justified? How can people be persuaded to consent to the use of mHealth apps if it is unclear how they work?
The researchers – who have backgrounds in psychology, philosophy, and computer science – will examine these questions. Based on the results, the research team will develop new ways in which users can trust mobile health support systems without this affecting their intrinsic motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle. These technologies could be incorporated into future apps for behavioural change.
creatieve industrie, data, mobile devices, mobile systems, social media, behaviour, trust, consent, cognitive science, motivation, persuasive technology, nudging, health selfmanagementOfficial project title: