Anxiety and autism: towards personalized digital health

Will Simm, Maria Angela Felicita Cristina Ferrario, Adrian Ioan Gradinar, Stephen Forshaw, Marcia Tavares Abreu Smith, Ian Craig Smith, Jonathan Nicholas David Whittle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

37 Citations (Scopus)


For many people living with conditions such as autism, anxiety manifests so powerfully it has a big impact on quality of life. By investigating the suitability of truly customizable wearable health devices we build on prior research that found each experience of anxiety in people with autism is unique, so 'one-suits all' solutions are not suitable. In addition, users desire agency and control in all aspects of the system. The participative approach we take is to iteratively co-develop prototypes with end users. Here we describe a case study of the co-development of one prototype, a digital stretch wristband that records interaction for later reflection called Snap. Snap has been designed to sit within a platform that allows the distributed and sustainable design, manufacture and data analysis of customizable digital health technologies. We contribute to HCI with (1) lessons learned from a DIY co-development process that follows the principles of modularity, participation and iteration and (2) the potential impact of technology in self-management of anxiety and the broader design implications of addressing unique anxiety experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
ISBN (Print)9781450333627
Publication statusPublished - 07 May 2016


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