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Technology in Psychiatry Summit

Technology in Psychiatry Summit

Building a More Accessible Future


Tremendous advances in science and technology have enabled greater understanding of the brain, yet mental health care remains inaccessible and inadequate for much of the world’s population.

McLean Hospital’s Institute for Technology in Psychiatry (ITP) brings together thought leaders in health care, data science, technology, industry, patient advocacy, academic research, and more for this two-day summit to build on the promise of technology in the diagnosis and delivery of mental health care.

ITP logoThis event is targeted at academic and industry professionals who are interested in shaping the future of mental health care.

The ITP partners with like-minded organizations looking to integrate technology into the field of psychiatry to improve research and care. If you are interested in affiliating your brand with the Technology in Psychiatry Summit, please contact the ITP.


Join leaders in the field of technology in psychiatry to build a more accessible future.

More information about the 2018 summit coming soon.

ITP Summit
Watch videos from the 2017 Summit

About the 2017 Summit: Schedule, Speakers, and More

8:00-8:30am – Breakfast & Registration

8:30-9:00am – Opening Remarks: Scott L. Rauch, MD, President, McLean Hospital

9:00-10:30am – Panel 1: Connecting with Technology: Why Psychiatry Needs Data Science

Advances in technology are creating almost limitless potential sources of data for understanding health and human behavior. This panel will focus on how we can take advantage of some of these data sources in the clinic and in the research laboratoryBrain tree using modern data analytic and machine learning approaches to generate insights and improve clinical care.


  • Justin T. Baker MD, PhD, Scientific Director, Institute for Technology in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital
  • Susan A. Murphy, PhD, Professor of Statistics, Harvard University
  • John Torous, MD, Co-Director, Digital Psychiatry Program, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Moderator: Carol Vallone, Trustee, McLean Hospital

10:30-11:00am – Coffee Break

11:00am-12:00pm – Keynote: Sarah H. Lisanby, MD, Director, Division of Translational Research, National Institute of Mental Health

12:00-1:00pm – Lunch

1:00-2:00pm – Data Blitz

Innovators in academia, medicine, and technology deliver brief talks on cutting-edge topics.

2:00-3:30pm – Panel 2: Digital Diagnostics: Leveraging Technology to Enhance Mental Health Assessment

Recent advances in computing now allow us to measure aspects of behavior and physiology that would not have been feasible even a handful of years ago. This panel will showcase examples of cutting-edge tools for understanding the brain and behavior that are low cost and scalable, towards a future of “digital diagnostics” that can be leveraged to increase the accessibility and impact of mental health services.


  • Armen C. Arevian, MD, PhD, Director, Innovation Lab, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • Louis-Philippe Morency, PhD, Faculty, Carnegie Mellon University Language Technology Institute
  • Andrea Webb, PhD, Group Leader, Psychophysiologist, Draper Laboratories
  • Satra Ghosh, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT

Moderator: Alik Widge, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Massachusetts General Hospital

3:30-4:00pm – Coffee Break

4:00-5:30pm – Panel 3: Reinventing the Psychiatric Laboratory

Technological and social advancements are changing the way science is conducted. Methods for remote data collection, collaboration, and data sharing have led to new approaches to mental health research that transcend geographical and institutional boundaries. This panel will discuss how we might conceptualize a laboratory of the future to lead us to a better understanding of mental health, the brain, and behavior.


  • Laura Germine PhD, Assistant Director, Institute for Technology in Psychiatry, McLean Hospital; Director, The Many Brains Project
  • Lara Mangravite, PhD, President, Sage Bionetworks
  • Matthew K. Nock, PhD, Director, Laboratory for Clinical and Developmental Research, Harvard University
  • Jukka-Pekka Onnela PhD, Associate Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Moderator: Carey Goldberg, Editor, CommonHealth

5:30-7:00pm – Networking Reception & Poster Session

8:00-8:30am – Breakfast

8:30-10:00am – Panel 4 : Digital Technology in Practice: Applications in Geriatric Health

The implications of a rapidly growing population of older adults on health care costs, housing, and public policy are well-recognized. The world of aging is at the forefront of innovation in the use of technologies to support independent living, maximized functioning, and improvements in cost, efficiency, and personalization of clinical care. This session will focus on exploring how the worlds of aging, technology and mental health can intersect and what might be the most fruitful areas to explore within this domain.


  • Jason Hassenstab, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Psychology, Washington University School of Medicine
  • Dilip V. Jeste, MD, Senior Associate Dean for Healthy Aging and Senior Care, University of California, San Diego
  • Sarah Lenz Lock, PhD, Senior Vice President for Policy, American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
  • Ipsit Vahia, MD, Medical Director, Geriatric Psychiatry Outpatient Services, McLean Hospital

Moderator: Brent P. Forester, MD, MSc, Chief of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry, McLean Hospital

10:00-10:30am – Coffee Break

10:30am-12:00pm – Panel 5: From Insights to Actions: Strategies for Care Transformation

Digital technologies have the potential to transform mental health care, particularly among groups that have traditionally been hard to reach due to lack of access, education, or resources. In this session, leading experts in technology, policy, and public health will discuss how we might take the insights generated from clinical and basic research and translate them to improvements in care and access to care. Discussion will focus on how to address the gap between the availability of mental health services and the pressing need for such services globally.


  • Ken Duckworth, MD, Medical Director, Behavioral Health, BCBS Massachusetts
  • Oliver Harrison, MD, MPH, Chief Executive, Alpha Health, Telefonica Innovation
  • Kimberlyn Leary, PhD, MPA, Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Executive Director, Policy Outreach, McLean Hospital
  • Gary Gottlieb, MD, CEO, Partners in Health

Moderator: Shelly F. Greenfield, MD, MPH, Chief of the Division of Women’s Mental Health, McLean Hospital

12:00-1:00pm – Lunch

1:00-2:00pm – Keynote: Roz Picard, ScD, MIT Media Lab

2:00-2:15pm – Coffee Break

2:15-3:45pm – Panel 6: Ethics and Privacy in the Era of Big Data

Large-scale adoption of effective digital health technologies will depend on coming up with appropriate social and technical infrastructure. At the core of this infrastructure is the need to balance privacy and security with transparency, openness, sharing, and the rights of individuals to own and make decisions about their own health and health data. In this session, leaders in privacy, access, and ethics will discuss the biggest challenges and potential ways forward in building a future where effective technologies work for society and individuals.


  • Alisa Busch, MD, MS, Chief Medical Information Officer, McLean Hospital
  • Kumar Garg, JD, Senior Fellow, Society for Science & the Public
  • Kristin N. Javaras, DPhil, PhD, Assistant Psychologist, Division of Women’s Mental Health, McLean Hospital
  • Michelle N. Meyer, JD, PhD, Bioethics and Health Care Policy, Geisinger Health System
  • Theresa Nguyen, Vice President of Policy and Program, Mental Health America

Moderator: Christopher Chabris, PhD, Professor, Geisinger

3:45-4:45pm – Keynote: Thomas Insel, MD, Mindstrong Health

4:45-5:00pm – Closing Remarks: Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD

Thomas Insel, MDThomas Insel, MD, is a neuroscientist and psychiatrist, and is the current president and co-founder of Mindstrong Health. He was formerly the director of the NIMH from 2002-2015, and more recently led the mental health division of Verily Life Sciences from 2015-2017.

Sarah H. Lisanby, MDSarah H. Lisanby, MD, is the director of the Division of Translational Research and director of the Noninvasive Neuromodulation Unit at NIMH. Her division supports research to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries into preventions, treatments, and cures for mental illness, and her individual research focuses on neurostimulation devices and mental illness treatments.

Roz Picard, ScDRoz Picard, ScD, is the founder and director of the Affective Computing Research Group at the MIT Media Lab, co-director of the Media Lab’s Advancing Wellbeing Initiative, faculty chair of MIT’s MindHandHeart Initiative, and co-founder of Empatica, Inc. (creating wearable sensors and analytics for health improvement) and Affectiva Inc. (technology that measures and communicates emotion). Her inventions apply to a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders and human-computer interaction.

Additional speakers

McLean’s Institute for Technology in Psychiatry wishes to thank the sponsors of the Technology in Psychiatry Summit. Our initiative to build a more accessible future couldn’t happen without their support.

AJ Trustey Mental Health Research Fund

THE Ride for Mental Health

Valera Health


Global Council on Brain Health

Boston Child Study Center


NEG Logo



Mental Health Overview

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year. (NAMI)

High income nations, on average, spend 5% of total health spending on mental health; for lower middle-income countries the figure is less than 2%. (WHO report)

Mental health workers account for only 1% of the global health workforce and 45% of the world’s population lives in a country with less than one psychiatrist per 100,000 people. (APA report)

Digital Technology Overview

Nearly nine-in-ten Americans today are online, up from about half in the early 2000s. (Pew Research Center)

Roughly 3/4 of Americans (77%) now own a smartphone. (Pew Research Center)

  • 92% 18-29 year olds vs. 42% 65+ year olds
  • 54% less than high school vs. 89% college grads
  • <$30k = 64%, >$75k = 93%
  • It was only 68% ownership in 2015 and 35% in 2011 (Pew 2015)

Today just over one-in-ten American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users—meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service. (Pew Research Center)

The Digitally Unreached

13% of Americans don’t use the internet. (Pew September 2016)

  • 1/3 of non-internet users (34%) did not go online because they had no interest in doing so or did not think the internet was relevant to their lives.
  • Another 32% of non-internet users said the internet was too difficult to use, including 8% of this group who said they were “too old to learn.”
  • Cost was also a barrier for some adults who were offline—19% cited the expense of internet service or owning a computer.
  • 41% of US adults aged 65+ are not online. (Pew September 2016)

Digital Technology in Schizophrenia

90% of the individuals in this survey (NAMI survey, plus academic source) owned more than one digital device such as a personal computer, tablet, or smartphone. 54% had access to smartphones compared to 64% of all Americans. Many survey respondents use their devices to cope with mental illness:

  • 42% by blocking or managing auditory hallucinations with music or audio files
  • 38% for health information on the internet
  • 37% for calendar reminders
  • 32% for transportation and map needs
  • 28% for medication management
  • 26% for supporting others
  • 26% for developing relationships with other persons with schizophrenia
  • 25% for monitoring symptoms
  • 24% for identifying coping strategies

Digital Tech in Mental Illness (Overall)

Most (72%-97%) patients with mental illness have reported the use of mobile phones for activities other than spoken conversations such as sending emails, web browsing, and social networking. (National Medical Journal of India)

Individuals with severe mental illness: “93% owned cellphones, 78% used text messaging, 50% owned smartphones, and 71% used social media such as Facebook.” (Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal)

Telepsychiatry and the Opportunity for Digital

“The average 18-25 year-old checks their phone 56 times/day.” (Bridianne O’Dea, TEDxYouth@Sydney) The phone is a direct portal.

“The global telehealth market is expected to be worth US$ 34.27 billion by the end of 2020, with North America being the largest market globally accounting for more than 40% of the global market size.” (HITconsultant)

“Three in five Americans are open to virtual support service options (e.g., video conference calls) with pharmaceutical companies to help them understand medications. This is especially true with millennials, as 70% want to leverage these modern technologies to communicate with their drug providers.” (Salesforce 2017 Connected Patient Report)

“Nearly three in four Americans (72%) say it’s important that their health insurance providers use modern tools—such as live chat/instant message and two-way video—when communicating with them.” (Salesforce 2017 Connected Patient Report)

“A majority of Americans currently communicate with their doctors via traditional channels to schedule appointments, with 80% using the phone.” (Salesforce 2017 Connected Patient Report)

Access to Care and Pressing Need

Insurance companies: “Millennials are more than three times as likely than baby boomers (26% vs. 7%) to use their insurance companies to find health care providers.” (Salesforce 2017 Connected Pt Report)

Serious mental illness costs America $193.2 billion in lost earnings per year. (NAMI)

Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the US for both youth and adults aged 18-44. (NAMI)

Smartphone ownership: “There are no differences in smartphone ownership among different racial and ethnic groups.” (Pew Research Center)

If there’s parity in tools, that means we can have parity in methods and quality of care delivered digitally.