Using mobile health to promote mental and physical health is the topic of interest, and more and more mobile apps are available nowadays to help users live a healthier lifestyle. Focusing on mental health promotion, mood, and stress, we, the interactive systems group at the University of Duisburg-Essen are trying to scientifically look into suitable techniques for health recommender systems. We are trying to build recommender systems that are able to automatically personalize behavioral interventions for each individual and facilitate the promotion of mental well-being.

PAX is an Android application that is developed as the platform for running research studies. It tracks user behavior and smartphone sensor data, which it sends to our secure servers at the University of Duisburg-Essen. The app then recommends personalized, context-aware behavioral interventions. Currently, the interventions are focused on mental health promotion and reducing the negative effects of stress in daily life. The application has several functionalities, and all interested researchers are welcome to contact me to use the app for their own research. PAX can be used for any psychological, behavioral, or user-centered studies in both academia and industry. A few functionalities of PAX are:

  • A variety of questionnaires, both valid and gamified (mood, stress, personality, health attitude, physical activity, sleep, etc., are already integrated).
  • Experience sampling components, both scheduled and intelligent
  • User social behavior modeling, location data, activity, calendar, app usage and sessions, noise, light, screen unlocks, etc.
  • Presenting recommendation to users
  • Initial gamified preference elicitations for cold start
  • Adding recommendation, social, and collaborative content generation
  • User control and personal modification of the content
  • User feedback and personal reports of progress and collected data
  • Pre- and post-study surveys

Link to the app: Google Play Store

Link to the mood tracker: Link to its subcomponents