Technology-enabled services (TESs), which use web-based and mobile applications for patients coupled with support from a care coordinator, have consistently been shown through randomized controlled trials to be effective at treating depression. However, attempts to implement TESs in healthcare settings have failed, primarily because neither real-world patients nor providers use the tools we develop and evaluate in research. This center addresses this research-to-practice problem through a multi-level strategy. At the research proposal level, we will design and evaluate TESs for depression in three unique medical settings that commonly manage depression. Each research project will include a unique design innovation.

Primary Care
This project will design and evaluate a TES to support the treatment of depression in a primary care/family medicine setting at Rush University Medical Center.

Perinatal Depression
This project will design and evaluate a TES to support care management for perinatal depression within the COMPASS collaborative care program at Northwestern Medicine’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Homebound Older Adults
Set in a geriatric service, this project will focus on homebound older adults, for whom there are few treatment options. This project will use a voice-controlled intelligent personal assistant to support homebound older adults, with support for family caregivers within the Outpatient Geriatrics and Home-Based Medicine Practices at Northwestern Medicine.

Research Methods
At the research level, we will harness the three research projects to refine our Accelerated Create-to-Sustainment (ACTS) research framework, which aims to overcome the research-to-practice gap in several ways. ACTS integrates human computer interaction (HCI) methods to incorporate the voice of end users into the design and evaluation of the technologies, service protocol, and implementation plan for the RPs, thereby ensuring that the end product is usable, useful, and can be implemented. Core research design elements and measurements are consistent across the RPs, which will allow us to evaluate the ACTS framework across all RPs to validate the core research principles of the ACTS framework.

By using a multilevel approach focusing on both the individual research projects and methodology, will produce the TESs designed for implementation in real world healthcare settings, and will provide substantial and enduring contributions to research methodology that will improve the quality of science.