- What current solutions exist at the intersection of mental health and technology?
- Who are these solutions best serving?
- What are their limitations?
We each did a deep dive into learning about how mental health and technology came together. From there, we put all our findings together to try to find common threads. We found out that with mental health apps, there is a general 'life-stylization' of mental health. This effectively blurs the lines between clinical and lifestyle approaches. Additionally, most mental health apps remain unvalidated in their efficacy.
We decided on positioning ourselves to research Seasonal Affective Disorder- or SAD, as it is often referred to. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects an estimated 10 million Americans.
People affected by SAD experience symptoms similar to depression that can negatively impact how they feel, think and act. Common treatment for SAD are Vitamin D supplements, talk therapy, light therapy, prescribed anti-depressant medication, and exercise.
For our qualitative primary research, we had 6 research questions:
Qualitative Research Methods
To acquire participants and carry out our primary research, we employed a variety of methods.
We sent our survey to our personal networks, asking for people that identify or are diagnosed with SAD. Our screener survey gathered very basic information about our participants, such as SAD symptoms and location they experience or have experienced those symptoms in the past.
- 7 remote informal interviews
- Recorded, with consent from participant
- To make participants feel at ease, max. 2 interviewees present in the meeting - one moderator, one person taking notes
The insights that we formed after our qualitative research were:
From our generative research, we were able to develop a concept for a connected lamp called Ré.
Often sunrise lamps and Light Therapy Boxes (LTBs) are sold as separate products. Ré is an all-in-one solution, combining the functions of a Sunrise Lamp and a LTB by gradually increasing light intensity and then maximizing intensity for optimal light therapy conditions. Ré also includes a companion mobile app that enables easy control of light exposure and relevant content notifications.
We came up with a How Might We question for concept testing...