The Online Remote Behavioural Treatment for Tics study (‘ORBIT’ for short) is a four year project funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment programme.

This project involves working with young people and their families to help the design of a study looking into testing out two new online behavioural treatments for tics and Tourette syndrome. These online treatments have already been tried out in Sweden, and now we want to see whether they are also useful for children and young people in England.

This project is a collaboration between the University of Nottingham, NIHR MindTech MedTech Co-operative, Great Ormond Street Hospital, University College London, and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.

More information:

Contact: Charlotte Hall
The SKIP (Supporting Kids with Diabetes in Physical Activity) study aims to identify whether a website developed for 9-12 year olds diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) could help to improve knowledge of the condition, self-efficacy to monitor and control the condition and increase their level of physical activity. The website (STAK-D) has been developed by the research team and combines educational (activity diary, diabetes-specific advice, physical activity guidance, safety information), behavioural (daily physical activities) and cognitive-behavioural (daily physical activity monitoring and goal-setting) strategies. This project is led by Dr Holly Blake (Associate Professor of Behavioural Science) based in the University of Nottingham’s School of Health Sciences. Within MindTech, Professor Cris Glazebrook (Children and Young People theme lead) and Dr Bethan Davies (Research Fellow) have been involved with the design and running of SKIP.

The P1Vital PReDicT study is a clinical trial testing a software (the PReDicT Test) that helps to more quickly predict whether a patient is responding to antidepressant medication. Current approaches to detecting treatment response (using questionnaire measures available to GPs) take between 4 to 6 weeks and the PReDicT Test holds the potential to reduce this to 1 week. More information about the PReDicT Test technology is available here. Patient recruitment started in  July 2016 and the study ends in 2018.

The RADAR-CNS (Remote assessment of disease and relapse – Central Nervous System) programme aims to improve patients’ quality of life, and potentially to change how these and other chronic disorders are treated.

Continuous remote assessment using smartphones and wearable devices provides a complete picture of a patient’s condition at a level of detail which was previously unachievable. Moreover, it could potentially allow treatment to begin before a patient’s health deteriorates, preventing the patient relapsing or becoming more ill before they seek treatment.

MindTech is conducting ongoing projects with Big White Wall (BWW) which is an anonymous digital service that supports people experiencing common mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. BWW offers a web-based peer support network (PSN). In some areas, BWW also offers live therapy involving one-to-one online therapy with experienced counsellors and therapists via webcam, audio or instant messaging. Read more for details of the two projects (one completed with final report, one recently begun):

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS FT is a partner in this exciting new 4 year programme with European and Australian partners, funded by the EU. MindTech’s Tom Dening and Mike Craven are running the NHT end of the programme along with consultant clinical psychologist & neuropsychologist Dons Coleston and MindTech’s patient and public involvement team, all based at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham Jubilee Campus.

The MinD programme involves multiple exchange visits and technology design projects.

Collaboration with Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, investigating the use of wearables for self-management in Tourette Syndrome. August 2016-present. We have completed a short initial study with 13 participants as an MSc student project, with thanks to Tourettes Action, with very promising results: and we plan to conduct a further controlled study and to investigate neurological mechanisms using imaging techniques.

MindTech is interested in the potential use of consumer level eye-trackers and Electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets for potential use by children with ADHD.

How Do Digital Tools Support the Behavioural Treatment of Tourette Syndrome (TS) among Young People?

MindTech is currently investigating how digital tools such as mobile apps could be used to help deliver evidence-based treatments for Tourette Syndrome to young people and their families. Previous research by the MindTech team has shown that behavioural treatments such as Habit Reversal Therapy are effective in reducing tics in children and young people with TS, however, there are often significant difficulties with getting access to this treatment. 

As part of this work we ran a project in partnership with the University of Bath to investigate how existing mobile apps for relaxation may support the treatment of Tourette Syndrome and to discover what young people and their families think of these products. Note: This initial project is now ended, but work on Digital Interventions Tourette's continues in MindTech - please contact Dr. Caroline Falconer for details.

MindTech is collaborating with Leeds and York NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Leeds to develop a common set of criteria for evaluating digital mental health tools such as apps and mobile websites.  A draft toolkit was presented at the King's Fund Digital Healthcare Congress on September 11th 2014 and we have now refined the toolkit based on the feedback that we have had from a wide range of users, developers and clinicians. Our Leeds/Nottingham collaboration continued into 2017 with the NHS England funded Digital Development Lab being delivered by mHabitat:
for which a final report is now available: A Framework for the effectiveness evaluation of mobile (mental) health tools, October 2017

This project based in Norway was a collaboration of MindTech with SINTEF Scandivanian research institute and companies Noen AS (project lead) and Kantega AS. The aim of KuPA is a new service that will be supported by a mapping tool, impleemented using Information and Communication Technology (ICT), that will ensure quality in a health-promoting activity service for people with dementia (PWD). The project ran November 2014 - Sept 2014 and a final report has been presented. The Norwegian partners are continuing roll-out of the KuPA service.

A Continuous Performance Test (CPT) has been incorporated into a smartphone application (App) to measure three symptom domains associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); attention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. AX-CPT and X-CPT tests & games have been implemented for adults and children.

In the second phase of the project, June-October 2015, new smartphone games were developed using other performance/reaction time tests such as Go/No-go and Stop tasks, one evaluated with children at the University of Nottingham Summer Scientist week in August 2015.

A more effective system is needed to ensure ADHD patients are monitored properly after beginning medication, but without increasing the strain on clinic resources. Mobile phone technology offers the potential to meet this need. Completed project. See publication: Developing mHealth Remote Monitoring Technology for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Qualitative Study Eliciting User Priorities and Needs

This PhD project deals with developing computer vision based tools for RGBD (Red, Green, Blue, and Depth) data which can be used for the analysis and diagnosis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and other disorders which show comorbidity with ADHD, in particular Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

'Assessing QbTest Utility in ADHD' (AQUA) is an NIHR CLAHRC East Midlands trial with MindTech providing clinical leadership (PI: Prof Chris Hollis) and technological support. The project arose out of the MindTech partnership with the SME QbTech Ltd.

A number of choices exist for video conferencing/calling technology. MindTech has been working with the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands to advise on selection criteria for a system to support two trials, on therapeutic interventions for self-harm and health anxiety.

This study, funded by Comic Relief, aimed to evaluate how young people use particular digital tools (Apps and websites) and what impact this has on their mental health – it focuses on the 7 digital tools that have been developed as part of the Innovation Labs Initiative. The project ran from April 2014 to April 2015 and has now ended. MindTech's final report is available for download, plus there are additional blog articles to read online, an a video about the evaluation.

Completed project.

The project was aimed at the use of multimedia and gaming to raise public awareness of Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) using large urban touchscreens. The project finished in February 2015.

Completed project. See publications From SnappyApp to Screens in the Wild: Gamifying an Attention Hyperactivity Deficit Disorder continuous performance test for public engagement and awareness and Evaluating a public display installation with game and video to raise awareness of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

CASA seeks to understand how to create an integrated service delivering a personalised set of enabling products designed to meet existent or future individual desires and aspirations. The project has ended and ran from January-September 2014. See:  publications

Completed project.

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