Friday, July 21, 2006

Framework for Haptic Psycho Therapy


Hurt Me prototype

Cool Me Down prototype

It is a pity that just the excellent personalities suffer most from the adverse effects of the atmosphere -Goethe

Together with Leo we wrote a paper on a framework for Haptic Psycho Therapy. We presented our research at the Health Pervasive Systems Workshop of the IEEE International Conference of Pervasive Services 2006.

Download the powerpoint slides of our presentation

Abstract: A growing body of evidence supports touch-based therapy for assisting sensory issues stemming from common social and psychological problems. Simulating touch through haptic devices can complement existing treatments for mental illness by providing soothing sensations that help to ground the senses. We introduce the concept of using computerized touch stimulation as a means for psychological therapy, and present a haptic device that allows touch information to be captured, broadcast and replayed in a wearable garment. To be effective outside the home or care-giving facility, this new type of therapeutic wearable needs to be highly customizable, easily controlled by the user and discrete enough to be worn in public.

We developped four prototypes that will be exhibited at the A + D Gallery in Chicago, September 7 – October 21, 2006

The Touchcasting serie consists of:
COOL ME DOWN - An Electronic Cold Wrap for the Treatment of Schizophrenia
More info about Cool Me Down
- Patent pending -


HURT ME - A Bracelet that Generates Controlled Pain for Psycho-Therapy
More info about Hurt Me
- Patent pending -


SQUEEZE ME - A Vest that Simulates Therapeutic Holding
More info about Squeeze Me
- Patent pending -


TOUCH ME - A System and Method for the Remote Application of Touch Therapy
More info about Push My Buttons
- Patent pending -

I now working independently on Seamless Sensory Interventions for the treatment of mental and neurological disorders.
My current research proposes haptics as the key to bringing treatment into the social sphere through devices, and providing new ways to mediate between the patient and the therapist both in and outside of therapy. Self-mutilation is a perfect test-case, because of the definitive “physicality” of the symptoms. However, the broader solutions that I am proposing have implications for diseases as diverse as autism, depression, and schizophrenia.

1 comment:

Rob said...

Hi Cati,

Great work.
You'll like my idea that I published in pervasive computing a whjile ago:
http://www.research.ibm.com/peoplevision/96-C3.pdf

Cheers, Rob