Digital Technologies for Innovative Mental Health Rehabilitation uri icon


  • Schizophrenia is a chronic mental illness, characterized by the loss of the notion of reality, failing to distinguish it from the imaginary. It affects the patient in life’s major areas, such as work, interpersonal relationships, or self-care, and the usual treatment is performed with the help of anti- psychotic medication, which targets primarily the hallucinations, delirium, etc. Other symptoms, such as the decreased emotional expression or avolition, require a multidisciplinary approach, including psychopharmacology, cognitive training, and many forms of therapy. In this context, this paper addresses the use of digital technologies to design and develop innovative rehabilitation techniques, particularly focusing on mental health rehabilitation, and contributing for the promotion of well-being and health from a holistic perspective. In this context, serious games and virtual reality allows for creation of immersive environments that contribute to a more effective and lasting recovery, with improvements in terms of quality of life. The use of machine learning techniques will allow the real-time analysis of the data collected during the execution of the rehabilitation procedures, as well as enable their dynamic and automatic adaptation according to the profile and performance of the patients, by increasing or reducing the exercises’ difficulty. It relies on the acquisition of biometric and physiological signals, such as voice, heart rate, and game performance, to estimate the stress level, thus adapting the difficulty of the experience to the skills of the patient. The system described in this paper is currently in development, in collaboration with a health unit, and is an engineering effort that combines hardware and software to develop a rehabilitation tool for schizophrenic patients. A clinical trial is also planned for assessing the effectiveness of the system among negative symptoms in schizophrenia patients.

publication date

  • September 2021