Research Project

An educational, multimedia solution that delivers early intervention for mood disorders

Primary Project Supervisors

Professor Nick Woolridge [Biomedical Communications, University of Toronto]

Dr. David Kriendler [Department of Psychiatry, Sunnybrook Hospital]


Primarily patients who are diagnosed with mood disorders

Finish Date

In progress

MHT/MyChart Staff & Advisors

Dr. Anthony Levitt [Director of Brain Sciences, Sunnybrook Hospital]

Sarina Cheng [Director of Health Records & Mychart]

Ari Zaretsky [Chief of the Department of Psychiatry, Sunnybrook Hospital]

Florin Negoita [Manager of MyChart development team]



This project supported by the AHSC AFP Innovation Fund



According to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, approximately 9% of the Canadian population may experience major depression or bipolar disorder in their lifetime. In 2003, the economic burden of mental illness generated by productivity loss and use of medical resources is estimated to be at least $51 billion. For patients with mood disorders, the traditional, face-to-face consultation has limitations that prevent them from obtaining proper treatment in a timely fashion. As internet usage becomes prevalent, the online delivery of psychoeducational resources has become a valuable tool for health professionals.

What we have so far

Mental Health Telemetry (MHT) is an interactive, web-based application that allows users to track their daily mood through carefully developed questionnaires, which assess specific areas such as sleep quality, irritability, and appetite. Once the data is submitted, patients and physicians can view the results of all the entries as graphs. This allows users to see their mood changes over time, among other patterns. 


The main purpose of this application is to promote self-management of symptoms before they become severe. 


Over the past 18 years, the functionalities and user interface of MHT have gone through several transformations. For the latest design of the application (designed by AXS Studio), click here.

Users log into MHT and answer a series of questions 

Data is submitted and recorded by the web tool

Summary graphs are generated. Users can add their own comments and tags

What we wish to improve

Your data shows that you've not been sleeping well recently.

Have you considered trying these tips?

For this iteration of the application, we want to

  • integrate MHT with MyChart, a web portal that is available to all Sunnybrook users

  • create an algorithm that sends out tips and reminders from our multimedia library*

  • develop effective, educational multimedia* to engage and motivate our users 

  • improve user's satisfaction ratings with the MHT application

*My main role is to design and develop the multimedia library


Please check back for more details.

Draft animations

Research proposal

Reading, evaluating resources and proposing ideas

Creating storyboards and sample animatics

Media redesign

Modifying media content and format based on user input

Further production

Refining and developing more content

Content writing

Researching, selecting and writing content

1st User interviews

Evaluating current concepts with focus groups

2nd User interviews

Showing current media samples to focus groups

User testing

Making product available to users and gain feedback


One of the challenges is the number of open-ended questions that had to be addressed at the start:

  • How can we balance the amount of media content with the available time and resources?

  • What visual style is best suited for our target audience?

  • What tips should be included?

  • How can we design it within a mobile-friendly framework?


Another unique challenge this project has is our users' state of mind. Since these tips are only sent out when the users are experiencing mood difficulties, their concentration and motivation are decreased.


This can affect many design decisions, such as:

  • the length of the animation

  • the information load in multimedia

  • the language used in the script

  • representation of characters and situations that are appropriate and sensitive

  • cues and reinforcement of the central message

  • inclusion and readability of on-screen text


The project is still in progress, but here are some samples our users enjoyed.

more to come

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