Overview

Precision Mental Health (PMH) is a transdisciplinary team of researchers led by Dr. Theodore D. Cosco. The mission of PMH is to apply a stakeholder-informed, evidence-based, data-driven, and tech-enabled approach to identify and support the mental health of individuals across the course of life. We seek to identify how innovative technological approaches can be leveraged to improve wellbeing, social connectedness, and mental health.

What is precision health?

Every person is unique. Genes, environment, and behaviors (like diet, exercise, and social interaction) are all factors that affect the health of a person. The goal of precision health is to protect health by measuring these unique characteristics and acting on them. Above and beyond the scope of traditional medicine, approaches to promoting health and treating illness can be tailored to the individual, rather than using the same approach for everyone.

Many precision health disciplines have been highly successful; for example, Precision Oncology develops treatments that target the unique molecular characteristics of an individual’s cancer. However, Precision Health is under-studied and under-utilized in the area of mental health. It is the goal of PMH to utilize the scientific principles of precision health and apply them to mental health research.

Stakeholder-informed

Integrating the knowledge and lived experience of individuals represented in our research, we aim to ensure our work is meaningful, relevant, accessible, and useful. The perspectives of stakeholders (individuals who are affected by our research) are consulted in our work to shape research questions, design studies, communicate findings, and move results into the world. In this way, we focus our research on what is important to the individual and create solutions that address the needs of the individual.

Evidence-based

The foundation of all of the work at PMH is based on existing best-evidence. Conducting systematic and scoping review, we aim to use the most up-to-date syntheses of existing research to inform the development of studies, hypotheses, and recommendations.

Data-driven

Using data from large-scale epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials, we examine the factors that lead to living happier and healthier for longer. Employing a variety of techniques ranging from traditional epidemiological analysis to machine learning, we aim to unpack the complex interrelationships between individuals’ life experiences and their mental health.

Tech-enabled

We don’t like to use the term “tech-driven” because that suggests that technologies lead the development of solutions. Instead, we aim to use our stakeholder-informed, best-evidence, and data-driven practices to identify the solutions and we employ technologies to fit those solutions.

Life Course

EARLY-LIFE

Childhood & Adolescent Mental Health

The formative years of one’s life involve rapid growth and development. We are particularly interested in the long-term implications of these early experiences on individuals’ mental health and wellbeing.

Learn More

ADULTHOOD

Mid-Life Mental Health

Progressing through adulthood may involve fewer physiological changes; however, these years present new mental health challenges and adversities. The mental health of individuals and couples utilizing assistive-reproductive technologies are of particular interest.

Learn More

LATER-LIFE

Older Adults’ Mental Health

Later-life may present new physiological and cognitive challenges; however, older adults often present with high levels of mental health and resilience. We are particularly interested in the role of technology as a means of alleviating or preventing social isolation and loneliness.

Learn More