Internet of Things for Mental Health: Open Issues in Data Acquisition, Self-Organization, Service Level Agreement, and Identity Management

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 1;18(3):1327. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18031327.


The increase of mental illness cases around the world can be described as an urgent and serious global health threat. Around 500 million people suffer from mental disorders, among which depression, schizophrenia, and dementia are the most prevalent. Revolutionary technological paradigms such as the Internet of Things (IoT) provide us with new capabilities to detect, assess, and care for patients early. This paper comprehensively survey works done at the intersection between IoT and mental health disorders. We evaluate multiple computational platforms, methods and devices, as well as study results and potential open issues for the effective use of IoT systems in mental health. We particularly elaborate on relevant open challenges in the use of existing IoT solutions for mental health care, which can be relevant given the potential impairments in some mental health patients such as data acquisition issues, lack of self-organization of devices and service level agreement, and security, privacy and consent issues, among others. We aim at opening the conversation for future research in this rather emerging area by outlining possible new paths based on the results and conclusions of this work.

Keywords: Internet of Things (IoT); mental health; security; self-organization; service level agreement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Internet of Things*
  • Mental Health
  • Privacy
  • Technology