February 7, 2014

Creative Communication: Using Innovative Design and Technology to Make Data Meaningful and Motivate Positive Behavior Change

Lorie LoebResearch Professor, Department of Computer Science, Dartmouth College; Director, Digital Arts Minor; Director, DALI Lab

About the Presentation:

The Neukom Digital Arts Leadership and Innovation Lab (DALI) is a new research and development lab in the computer science department at Dartmouth College.  Teams of graduate and undergraduate students, staff and faculty work together to design and develop innovative technology tools that help our partners communicate effectively, make data meaningful and information accessible.  DALI partners with faculty, Centers, non-profits and start-ups.  (DALI.dartmouth.edu)

Lorie will present examples and case studies from her work.  There will be an opportunity to discuss your current work and how data visualization might be of value.

The DALI Lab is supported by the Neukom Institute for Computational Science and the Computer Science Department.  

About the Presenter:

Lorie is a Research Professor in the computer science department at Dartmouth College, Director of the Digital Arts Minor, and the Director of DALI Lab. Before coming to Dartmouth, Lorie was Senior Research Scientist in the Computer Science Department at Stanford University and a Professor in New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  Lorie’s expertise is in data visualization, user experience design and animation/motion study.

Lorie is an artist as well as a technologist.  She has worked on award winning films (e.g. two Emmy Awards, a Cine Golden Eagle Award) that have been screened internationally (e.g. the Museum of Modern Art NY, the Sundance Film Festival, the NY Film Festival, the London Film Festival the Whitney Biennial).

Lorie’s work has been funded by Intel, Sony, Microsoft, The National Science Foundation, Electronic Arts, The Neukom Institute for Computational Science, the Morgan Family Foundation and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has two patents (one pending).  She is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, a Whiting Foundation Fellow and a Donella Meadows Sustainability Leadership Fellow. Lorie is also the President and Co-Founder of TellEmotion, Inc., an energy feedback company with clients around the globe and offices in Vermont and Arizona.  


From the
Director's Desk

Learn about exciting recent and upcoming activities and resources from the NIH-supported, Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH) from Dr. Lisa Marsch, CTBH Director.

Thank you for your interest in the Center for Technology and Behavioral Health (CTBH). We are pleased to share this Winter 2013 newsletter with you to highlight several exciting recent and upcoming activities and resources from our Center.

CTBH is supported by a P30 "Center of Excellence" grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. CTBH is housed at Dartmouth College, but Center affiliates are based at institutions across the country. Researchers at CTBH are engaged in a wide array of research activities focused on the development, evaluation, and dissemination of technology-based therapeutic tools targeting substance use disorders and behavioral health. These tools leverage web, mobile, and sensor technologies that may greatly enhance individuals' ability to monitor and successfully manage their health behavior, anytime and anywhere. Technology-based therapeutic and care coordination systems offer considerable promise for enabling entirely new models of healthcare both within and outside formal systems of care.

The research of CTBH Investigators ranges from the assessment, prevention, treatment and recovery support of chronic substance use disorders, to mental illness, to HIV and other infectious diseases, to the behavioral health dimensions of effective management of chronic physical disease. This work includes diverse populations, ranging from children, adolescents, young adults, persons with substance use disorders, tobacco-dependent individuals, persons with serious mental illness, homeless individuals, aging populations, parents, and veterans. And, this work includes many phases of research, spanning from early stage prototype development/pilot testing of a technology-based innovation, to controlled efficacy trials, to community-based studies of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, to research assessing optimal models for implementing empirically-supported technology-based therapeutic tools in various systems of care.

This Center serves as a national resource for researchers, technologists, consumers, service providers, service payors, and policy makers interested in technology-based interventions targeting behavioral health.

In this newsletter, we highlight a few of our recent activities from our interdisciplinary collaborations. We invite you to also explore our website to learn more about the Center's ongoing work.

We are especially pleased to highlight outcomes from our Center's recent partnership with the National Council on Community Behavioral HealthCare assessing community behavioral health agencies' readiness to adopt technology-based therapeutic tools. These data, obtained from over 400 respondents in community behavioral health agencies, underscore the high levels of interest in embracing technology in these care settings. They also highlight important considerations related to the successful implementation and sustained use of technology-based therapeutic tools in these settings. Read More.

Also related to our Center's implementation research activities, we feature a just-completed, multi-site study evaluating processes associated with successful implementation of a mobile substance abuse recovery support tool. This collaborative study with researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was designed to inform the development of a "Road Map" or set of guidelines for organizations to implement mobile therapeutic support tools. Read More.

As part of our Center's ongoing research focused on methodological frameworks to guide the development and evaluation of technology-based therapeutic tools, we are pleased to highlight a just-published article by Center Affiliates that discusses the utility of single-case experimental designs in evaluating technology-based behavioral health interventions. This article, published in the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Medical Internet Research, highlights this approach as an example of a rigorous experimental design that requires less time and resources than a randomized, controlled trial. Read More.

CTBH also just funded (via a competitive application and review process) a number of innovative new pilot projects, including a study to conduct formative groundwork for the development of mobile communication approaches to reach, engage, and provide support to parents with co-occurring substance use disorders and serious mental illness. To view all pilot projects funded to date, check out the pilot project page of our website.

We invite you join in our many activities of our Center. We welcome you to view video presentations on our website from an interdisciplinary team of experts, who are leaders in a variety of areas of paramount importance to the field of technology and behavioral health.

Also, our Center affiliates have given over 50 presentations all over the country and internationally in the past year, and we invite you to come attend an upcoming presentation.

For researchers working in this field, please consider submitting a manuscript in response to a Call for Papers for a new Special Issue to be edited by Center Affiliates in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment.

And, be sure to follow our "Eye on Innovation" blog, with regular updates about innovations in the field of technology and behavioral health!

As the Director of CTBH, I am honored to share this newsletter on behalf of an outstanding team of researchers and look forward to sharing much more exciting work to come.

Please feel free to contact us. We always welcome comments and feedback!

Lisa Marsch, PhD

Lisa Marsch, PhD

Director, Center for Technology
and Behavioral Health

CTBH funds 13 Innovative Pilot Projects

The Pilot Project Core of CTBH is designed to support novel pilot project grants that facilitate the rapid execution of research and offer considerable promise to have a large impact on the field.  CTBH has funded 13 innovative pilot projects on topics ranging from novel mobile health methodologies and analytics, passive sensing via wearable sensors, and novel technology-based interventions.

Recently awarded pilot grants include: (1) the use of video-gaming to prevent cigarette and marijuana use among adolescents, (2) the use of mobile technologies to identify predictors of violence among persons with co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders, and (3) a translation of the strongly empirically-supported Individual Placement and Support (IPS) supported employment model for psychiatric disorders for use with persons with addiction via the use of mobile technology.

Pilots also include: (4) a novel, integrated platform for buprenorphine adherence among opioid-dependent individuals, (5) an innovative methodology to enhance individual engagement with technology-based therapeutic tools, (6) mixed methods approaches to evaluating technology-based therapeutic tools, (7) a computerized substance use interview for persons with severe mental illness,(8) a web-based smoking cessation intervention for persons with schizophrenia, and (9) a mobile application for parents with co-occurring addiction and mental illness.

Additional innovative pilot projects include: 10) an assessment the feasibility of mapping substance craving with wearable and mobile sensors, (11) a remote monitoring technology that uses inertial sensors and a movement-detection algorithm to identify smoking events, (12) a mobile phone-based carbon monoxide measure to detect smoking, and (13) an electronic cigarette container which interactively communicates with the smart phone of the smoker.

More detail about these pilot projects and their potential public health relevance can be found at:


Just Published!  Special Issue on Technology and Addiction

The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment has recently published a Special Issue of its journal on “Technology-based Interventions for the Treatment and Recovery Management of Substance Use Disorders”.  This Special Issue was Co-edited by CTBH Director, Lisa A. Marsch, PhD, CTBH Advisory Board Member, Kathleen Carroll, PhD and colleague Brian Kiluk, PhD.

This Special Issue of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (Volume 46, Issue 1, January 2014) highlights the diversity and current state of the science of empirically-supported innovations in technology-based interventions targeting addiction treatment and recovery management.  Articles range from experimental evaluations of a variety of types of technology-based interventions (brief interventions, behavior therapy, medication adherence tools, and HIV prevention interventions) and technology platforms (mobile, Web, videoconferencing, and telephone-based interactive voice response), for an array of populations (adults, adolescents, criminal justice populations, and post-partum women), in a number of different settings (addiction specialty treatment programs, schools, emergency rooms, and criminal justice settings). They additionally reflect a variety of experimental research designs, including those focused on the design, development, and clinical evaluation of these technology-based therapeutic tools, as well as research focused on models for their successful implementation and sustained use.

This Special Issue is available online at:


Promoting Implementation: CTBH Technology Program Review

A primary mission of CTBH is to serve as a centralized resource for knowledge about evidence-based technology-based behavior change interventions targeting substance use disorders and related issues (including HIV and Co-Occurring Disorders).  Exposure and the ability to successfully try out new treatment approaches increase likelihood of program adoption.  To this end, CTBH’s Dissemination & Implementation (D&I) team is developing a repository of annotated summaries of the evidence for technology-based interventions described in published literature.  This online resource provides an easily accessible synthesis of information for diverse audiences about the availability of technology-based interventions for individuals with substance use disorders, the empirical evidence in support of each intervention, and references to obtain further information about each intervention.

The Program Review repository is intended to serve multiple purposes, including:

  • To help providers determine what programs may be appropriate for their service settings and client audiences and what infrastructure (technical and social capital) would be needed to support adoption
  • To provide researchers with information to guide replication studies and other studies using technology-delivered approaches,
  • To offer engineers examples of technology-based approaches to healthcare delivery to stimulate innovation and collaboration with researchers and providers, and
  • To offer consumers alternative and/or supplemental intervention models

The current Program Review includes technology-based programs targeting substance use and co-occurring behavioral health issues for which there is published literature. Each program reviewed includes the following summary information:  a) Program description, b) Technical platform (e.g., internet, tablet, mobile phone), c) Theoretical model(s) guiding development and outcome targets, d) Target audience(s) with which program evaluated, e) Evaluation design and methods, f) Settings in which program evaluated (e.g., geographic, service setting), g) Target Outcomes, h) Outcome Results, and i) Implementation history (e.g. replication/international/CTN).

The D&I team is working to expand the Program Review to included technology-based treatment and recovery support approaches for mental illness as well as interventions targeted to HIV and other chronic disease conditions such as diabetes. Near future iterations will include a searchable function to allow end-users to select for programs most relevant to their clientele/setting (e.g., teens, inpatient settings). Given the proliferation of web-based and mobile applications targeting behavioral health care, we anticipate that the Program Review will become an important go-to resource for consumers, providers and researchers looking to learn about evidence-based approaches to care. See the Program Review on our website: