University of Pittsburgh
April 27, 2016

Pitt Conference to Highlight the Latest in Behavioral Health Technology


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—New developments in the field of behavioral health technology will take center stage at an all-day conference May 2 at the University of Pittsburgh.

The first Integrative Conference on Technology, Social Media, and Behavioral Health will take place from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Pitt’s Mervis Hall, Roberto Clemente Drive, Oakland.

Representatives from Pitt’s schools of the health sciences, the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, the School of Information Sciences, UPMC, Carnegie Mellon University, area foundations, and the local health care start-up community will hear about new health care software, interactive technologies, and other applications in use and ready for testing. Attendees will have opportunities to collaborate with colleagues from across the region.

Keynote addresses will be delivered by Marc Malandro, founding director of Pitt’s Innovation Institute; Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer for UPMC; and Karen Wolk Feinstein, president and CEO of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.

Attendees will choose from a number of breakout sessions and end their day with a networking reception in the Mervis Hall atrium that will showcase the latest consumer-focused smart technologies to improve health.

They include:
SmartCAT, an app for assessing and treating teen anxiety;
VISYTER, an interactive platform for delivering telerehabilitation services;
MEDIvate, an app designed to decrease medication-related hospital readmissions;
Minding GOALS, an online program to promote weight loss; and
two facial-recognition software programs that are able to scan faces in real time to sense users’ emotions. 

“Creativity and the best ideas often arise from interactions between individuals,” says Bruce Rollman, professor of medicine and founding director of Pitt’s Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology, a recently formed multidisciplinary group. “So, we designed our conference to maximize the chances for participants to mingle, swap ideas, and stumble serendipitously across some amazing new information that they can use to develop their own ideas.” Rollman says the goal of the event is to “bridge silos to promote innovation and discovery.”

The event is cosponsored by the Center for Behavioral Health and Smart Technology, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and Health 2.0 Pittsburgh, with additional support from UPMC and a grant from the Provost’s Social Science Research Initiative.