Summary of Key Points:


  • Human-computer interaction (HCI) involves the design and development of computer technology with a focus on facilitating its use from accumulated influences. HCI also offers the implementation and evaluation of technologies with an importance on user experience (UX).
  • HCI has not been well-combined into technological developments within the digital mental health domain, resulting in quality and safety concerns.
  • This integrative review found that HCI has long needed to be better integrated into technological developments for mental health care.
  • Digital mental health tools best serve as an adjunct to mental health care—users and mental health practitioners can help improve effective outcomes through co-design of HCI (e.g., the Digital Therapeutic Alliance, clinical guidelines on validating machine learning findings as well as stepped models of care that utilize supporting resources—peer workers).
  • There are many web-based or smartphone technology products and services available (especially apps) that serve in telehealth and (self-)guided digital interventions as well as AI, immersive technologies, and digital phenotyping. But a lack of HCI investment has resulted in unrealized potential (e.g., a secure, trusted and eminent integrated-multimodal digital platform using AI has yet to be effectively designed, developed, used, strategized, funded, and scaled).
  • Future research for enhanced quality, safety, and usability may benefit from integrating a predictive model with human-centred design (i.e., adding real humans into the loop of simulations by computer algorithms that run human-created models).
  • HCI modeling may assist in the design and development of usable applications, and to effectively recognize, acknowledge, and address the inequities of mental health care and suicide prevention and assist in the digital therapeutic alliance.


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