How can we effectively and safely reduce the burden of mental illness through emerging technologies?


Mel McKendrick, Heriot-Watt University

Skyscanner logoAgenda

(Note that Skyscanner will require you to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for entry to their offices).

18:00 - Networking and refreshments
18:15 - AGM
18:30 - Start of talk
20:00 - End


Untreated mental health costs the UK over £94bn annually and set to double over the next 20 years. Comorbid mental health, developmental, neurodegenerative or physical illnesses are issues highlighted by the WHO mental Health Action Plan and mental health has been included in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The goal of sustainable mental health work is to improve prevention, personalise intervention, monitoring and support for emotional health and mental wellbeing in an individualised accessible manner over the long term.

It is estimated that key technologies will include telemedicine, sensors, wearables, smartphones, digital therapies, social media, genotyping microarrays, neuroimaging, electronic health records, healthcare data collection, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality. These emerging technologies are changing the face of mental healthcare, but do we really understand their potential benefits and risks?

How can we effectively and safely reduce the burden of mental illness through emerging technologies?

About the speaker

Mel McKendrick is a Chartered Experimental Psychologist and Assistant Professor in Psychology at Heriot-Watt University, where she leads SPECTRA Labs: a series of interconnected labs which combine psychology with technologies such as extended realities, gamification and objective sensory metrics.

She is also CEO of Optomize Ltd. (attention assessment and visual feedback training for clinical skills). She is interested in how we can use simulated environments, technology and feedback to reduce anxiety and improve performance.

Our events are for adults aged 16 years and over.

BCS is a membership organisation. If you enjoy this event, please consider joining BCS. You’ll be very welcome. You’ll receive access to many exclusive career development tools, an introduction to a thriving professional community and also help us make IT good for society. Join BCS today

For overseas delegates who wish to attend the event, please note that BCS does not issue invitation letters.

BCS is following government guidelines and we would ask attendees to continue to also follow these guidelines. Please go to for more information, advice, and instructions.

This event is brought to you by: BCS Edinburgh branch and refreshments and venue kindly provided by Skyscanner.

Their mind in your hands: User centric digital mental health
Date and time
Wednesday 5 October, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Skyscanner Limited, Quartermile One
15 Lauriston Place
This event is sold out