Sunday, July 23, 2006

Feedback for people with OCD


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Patients are Impaired in Remembering Temporal Order and in Judging Their Own Performance, J. Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, vol. 24, no. 3, 2002, pp. 261–269.

Today, Rob Van Kranenburg sent me an interesting article he wrote in 2003 on how ubicom applications could provide feedback for people with OCD. He is developing solutions in the framework of contemporary performance and theatrical practice.

The paper can be found here.

The paper mentions that in the US and Netherlands, one in 50 adults currently has OCD, and twice as many have had it at some point in their lives.

How could ubicomp be instrumental here? Phase 1 is researching if ubicomp applications can assess if a person has a tendency for audio, visual, tactile, or other kinds of feedback that would signal the task scenario’s closure. In Phase 2, we would have to access, for example, if visual feedback on clothing or another appliance could break the chain of repetition for a person who functions on visual feedback but is dealing with an apparatus that does not provide such feedback. Working closely with psychiatrists and OCD patients, in Phase 3 we could test whether such ubiquitous computing applications could break the loop of repetition, assuming that it is the kind of feedback that is responsible for the taskloop’s nonclosure.

Finally the paper concludes that ubicomp applications could focus on temporal markers and serendipitous feedback scripting into various scenarios to raise self-awareness.

In pervasive computing

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.

Machine Therapy

I have just chatted with Kelly Dobson today at the lab and we found out that we share a research goal: using machines for therapy.
I will show her the last ptototypes on Haptic Psycho therapy that I made with Leo such as:
Squeeze Me - A Vest that Simulates Therapeutic Holding
Hurt Me - A Bracelet that Generates Controlled Pain for Psycho-Therapy
Cool Me Down - An Electronic Cold Wrap for grounding
Push My Buttons - A System and Method for the Remote Application of Touch Therapy

I have always adored Kelly's work. In particular, her ScreamBody.
ScreamBody is the first of the series of Wearable Body Organs. ScreamBody is a portable space for screaming. When a user needs to scream but is in anynumber of situations where it is just not permitted, ScreamBody silences the user’s screams so they may feel free to vocalize without fear of environmental retaliation, and at the same time records the scream for later release where, when, and how the user chooses.

One of her last piece is Blendie, a voice controller blender.
The experience for the participant is to speak the language of the machine and thus to more deeply understand and connect with the machine.

She is now finalising her PhD research on Machine Therapy
It is a body-to-body affair. In this way the machines serve as a bridge to the person’s inner life

In Haptic therapy

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A placebo coupled with a non-invasive form of treatment

The benefit obtained by the patient is at least partially due to his or her sense of hope, positive expectation, and activation for self-healing processes Institute of Medicine

I position therapy with haptic systems as part of the spectrum of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Now, how can we evaluate the efficiency of CAM? For invasive forms of treatment in conventional medicine, studies include a placebo. However, with most complementary and alternative medicines, the placebo effect becomes an inherent part of the treatment.

If the outcome of a placebo can be equal to the one of an invasive treatment, I think there is a lot that can be designed around the placebo effect coupled with a non-invasive form of treatment …

A key reference
Complementary And Alternative Medicine in the United States By Institute of Medicine, National Academies Press, 2005.

In Haptic therapy

Fashion drawing

I found two informative books on fashion drawing that contain inspiring examples for explanatory design.

The FASHION DRAWING BOOK - Il Figurino di Moda

The PATTERN MAKING BOOK - Il Modellismo Sartoriale

In fashion design

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Everyday life on wow

I play World of Warcraft.
So little is said about the social life and the partnership difficulties of one wanting to fight spiders while the other one wants to gather some herbs. This comic was sent to me by Adam (a powerful priest who collects herbs) ... enjoy (wow humour only)

My character is a warrior, profession engineer, level 28. I am in the peaceful Alliance maybe I'll try the Horde.

And later, I found a super wow fitness program on Nicolas' blog that I will be sure to follow

In favorite games

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What is happiness?

The french artist SĂ©bastien Schuller
(from the Yvelines, Versailles or Trappes) has the best definition so far:

'In the mildness of the spring
You feel creepy like a worm
In your lost enchanted brain
You're proud to go
With the fairness of your skin
You feel funny in this world
In your lost enchanted dreams
Weeping willow'

From his album Happiness.


In French music as we like it

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A haptic psycho therapeutic Barbie for violent kids?

Recently, Florence Gallez --Moscow correspondent for the Bureau of National Affairs-- sent me two articles about the future of the Barbie dolls. Either to mention that it is time to kill her or that 'Barbie's new dad is searching for the doll's missing wow' ...
Well, I remember a WOW and this by only switching voices between Barbie and GI Joe dolls. Maybe Mattel could receive some advice from Mike Bonanno (the Yes men) ...

In any case, I think it is time for us to make a Psycho-therapeutic Barbie that squeezes violent kids with her tiny little hands ... Touchcasting is working on that new Barbie revival!

Barbie as Cat Woman

In psycho toys