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SCAH!RF: A Novel Wearable as a Subconscious Approach for Mitigating Anxiety Symptoms

Abstract : Mobile and wearable interfaces have long been developed to improve mental health issues, including anxiety disorders, which represent a significant public health problem affecting more than 250 million people. However, most of the current approaches still operate in the so-called “reflective mind”, which hampers results since reflecting on your own health data can induce even more stress and anxiety. In this poster we introduce an alternative approach towards mitigating anxiety symptoms through the use of “subtle” wearable interfaces. Capitalizing on the subconscious processes of the mind is particularly attractive for anxiety disorders. We present a smart wearable in the form of a scarf that implements a subconscious, less-invasive approach in the design of assistive technologies for mental health. Preliminary results bring important implications for interaction design: combining psychological conditioning therapy (via a mobile app) with our smart scarf provides a solution that can be worn anytime anywhere to fight anxiety symptoms. But this work also raises many privacy and ethical concerns which should be discussed by the HCI community: how can designers balance the opaqueness of subconscious approaches with the necessary ethical transparency? And how can mental health technologies be conceived in such a way they do not instigate societal stigma in users?
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Laís Lopes, Pedro Campos. SCAH!RF: A Novel Wearable as a Subconscious Approach for Mitigating Anxiety Symptoms. 17th IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (INTERACT), Sep 2019, Paphos, Cyprus. pp.664-667, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-29390-1_58⟩. ⟨hal-02878658⟩

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