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Core Research Areas

TRC-DMH focuses on investigating the applications and utilization of the following digital technologies in mental health care: 


1) social robotic technology


2) virtual/extended reality technology, and


3) tele-health technology 

Social robotic technology

Social robots with conversational artificial intelligence (AI) can have meaningful use for health professional training and mental health assessment. Smart devices such as Furhat has a human-like computer interface that enables people to have interactions with the robot that are similar to interactions with human. The TRC-DMH will conduct studies to expand our understanding in the application of social robots.


Virtual/extended reality technology

Advanced virtual reality and extended reality technology allow users to utilize, create, and simulate a virtual world with breakthrough high-resolution virtual and mixed reality. One excellent feature of the technology is its face-tracking capability which adds an important emotional component to virtual sessions for health professional training and community health education. Users will be able to see and react to facial expressions in real time thus improving emotional awareness. VR technology has been widely used for treatment of phobia and social anxiety. The TRC-DMH will conduct studies on the effects of therapeutic virtual reality experience to improve mental well-being in older population and people living with physical disabilities.

VR Headset

Tele-health technology 

AI Ambassador has an industry-leading Cloud Service platform and a high-performance A.I. text-to-speech (TIS) engine that allow a A.I. service agent to be customized for  mental health research, training, education and services. AI Ambassador can be further programmed to help with a variety of mental health issues (e.g., depressive disorder). The TRC-DMH will use AI ambassador to improve accuracy of clinical diagnosis, to predict stress and anxiety levels, and to evaluate the psychometric properties of AI ambassador mental health screening tools. 

Image by National Cancer Institute
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