Stanford Mental Health Technology & Innovation Hub

Kim Bullock, M.D.

The Virtual Reality & Immersive Technology (VR-IT) Program at Stanford honors the creative, collaborative, and innovative spirit of our psychiatry department thru the unconventional and interdisciplinary development, evaluation, and dissemination of immersive technology based treatments. This program is guiding and safe-guarding the evolution of technology ‘s inevitable merging with the human nervous system in the service of behavioral and mental health. With the development of biometric sensing devices, virtual reality and perceptual illusions can now provide sensory feedback experiences relevant to permanently changing psychiatric illnesses. The use of these break-thru technologies allows precise and personalized shaping and conditioning of behavior which can be customized to unique individuals and circumstances.

  • CONNECTING: The VR-IT program was founded by neuropsychiatrist Kim Bullock for the purpose of supporting the projects of individuals developing immersive technologies with the aim of relieving suffering and increasing emotional wellbeing. The VR-IT program is a leader and a disrupter in providing support and connecting researchers, providers, and industry stakeholders thru networks of communication facilitated by its auxiliary organization the Stanford Psychiatry Immersive Technology Consortium (SPITC).
  • EDUCATING: The VR-IT program serves to disseminate rapidly changing and emerging technology therapies by training clinicians in evidenced based VR interventions thru one-on-one supervision, workshops, and CME conferences.
  • EXPLORING: Dr. Bullock’s primary area of research is multimodal treatments for illnesses that involve dysregulation of bodily sensations and functions. She is currently focusing on the use of embodied virtual reality technology to augment physiotherapy, psychotherapy, and skills acquisition for somatic symptom related disorders.

E-mail | Stanford Profile | Clinical TrialsVR-IT Lab | Stanford Neurosciences Institute


Collaborators: Andrea Won, Ph.D., Jeremy Bailenson, Ph.D., Katharine Dahl, M.D., Walter Greenleaf, Ph.D., Antonio Hardan, M.D., Kate Hardy, Clin.Psych.D., Chariot, Elizabeth McMahon, Ph.D., Hadi Hosseini, Ph.D., Carolyn Rodriguez, MD, PhD, Samuel Rodriguez, MD, Lauren Mikula Schneider, M.D., Debra Safer MD, Sarah Adler, Psy.D., Cristin Runfola, PhD, Nina Vasan, M.D. Ryan Matlow, Ph.D., Pam Shime, J.D. 

Pam Shime, J.D., M.A.

Mastery is an immersive game based on the neuroscience of trauma and evidence-based trauma therapy developed at Stanford’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department. Mastery teaches players to identify their trauma triggers, become aware of their feelings, and replace trauma-based responses with healthy ones. The game takes place inside the player’s brain, but this isn’t revealed until near the end of the game. Players choose a young child or animal to guide through a series of challenges representing neurological events that occur under stress. They are supported by a guide who provides advice, encouragement, and rewards once each challenge is overcome.

Blake Scanlon, Ph.D.

Collaborators: Jerome Yesavage, M.D., Lisa Kinoshita, Ph.D., Joy Taylor, Ph.D.

The overarching aim of Dr. Scanlon’s research is to develop and evaluate low-cost, pragmatic and clinically translatable methods for improving management of neurodegenerative disease and dementia. He heads the VA Caregiver Technology Laboratory that aims to enhance patient- and family-centered neurodegenerative disease care through novel, broadly customizable, and highly scalable caregiver interventions. The lab investigates how mHealth and burgeoning technologies can be harnessed to improve access to care.

 E-mail | Stanford Profile Twitter | Lab Volunteer Application | Postdoc Opportunity |   Stanford/VA Alzheimer's Center

Eve Carlson, Ph.D.

Collaborators: Jason Owen, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Carlson's interests include use of online courses and apps for assessment and treatments for veterans and recent trauma survivors. Current projects include configuration of an LMS and REDCap to deliver peer-supported courses to veterans. We are conducting a study of peer-supported use of a problem-solving course and an anger management course to veterans living anywhere who have unmet mental health needs.



Ricardo F. Muñoz, Ph.D.

Collaborators: Alinne Barrera, Ph.D. Yan Leykin, Ph.D. Eduardo Bunge, Ph.D. Rose Barlow, Ph.D. Sara Reyes, B.A.


Ricardo F. Muñoz is Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, Distinguished Professor of Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University (PAU), and founding director of PAU’s i4Health, the Institute for International Internet Interventions for Health. His collaborators are faculty and research staff of the Institute, which has as its mission to develop, evaluate, and disseminate digital health interventions worldwide at no charge for all who want to use them. Professor Muñoz and his collaborators have been developing Internet and mobile interventions focused on depression and smoking since 1998 at the University of California, San Francisco and since 2012 at Palo Alto University. They have carried out online randomized controlled smoking cessation trials with worldwide samples as well as studies focused on prevention of depression, including postpartum depression, on mood screening, and on suicide. Their studies have been done in Spanish, English, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic. Their goal is to develop “digital apothecaries” composed of Massive Open Online Interventions (“MOOIs”, inspired by “MOOCs” – Massive Open Online Courses) that can be used again and again without losing their therapeutic power and to provide them to anyone in the world at no cost. They hope this approach will allow the health field to provide preventive as well as treatment interventions and contribute to efforts to make health care a universal human right. We look forward to collaborating with Stanford’s “Hub” on our mutual goals.


Laura Roberts, M.D.

Collaborators: Laura Dunn, MD and Jane Kim, PhD


Translation of great discoveries in neuroscience promises to reduce the burden of many of the most disabling conditions that threaten human health worldwide, including mental illnesses and addictions. Exceptionally innovative science inspires hope that these devastating brain-based disorders may be prevented, treated, and even cured. Yet, relative to their importance, mental illnesses and addictions have been understudied, with the complexity of the brain posing an immense challenge in the rapid advancement of neuroscience. This challenge is now being surmounted with new technologies and methods emerging at an unprecedented level of innovation. As these innovative lines of inquiry proceed, a suite of ethical challenges confronts those studying the human brain. These concerns include the deepest questions about what defines humanity and personhood, what forms of novel inquiry may exceed ethically acceptable societal limits, and how to perform ethically sound studies with volunteers who may be vulnerable to exploitation in the research context. 
The overarching goal of our work is to accelerate neuroscience toward lessening the burden of mental illness and addiction through articulating ethical problems encountered by innovative neuroscientists, examining factors influencing research decision making in the context of innovative neuroscience research, and to strengthen patient engagement in informed consent in transformative brain research.   

Profile | Roberts Ethics Laboratory

Nina Vasan, M.D.

Collaborators: Laura Roberts, MD, MA - Gowri Aragam, MD - Neha Chaudhary, MD - Linda Drozdowicz, MD - Kenechi Ejebe, MD - Reza Hosseini Ghomi, MD, MSE - Swathi Krishna, MD -  Cody Rall, MD - Blair Ballard - Lauren Kazmierski - Josh Kornberg - Tiffany McKenzie - Anika Nagpal - Matilda Nickell - Lisa Wang - Akanksha Jain - Steven Adelsheim, MD - Belinda Bandstra, MD, MA - Kim Bullock, MD - Vicki Harrison, MSW - Eric Kuhn, PhD - Erika Roach, MA - Alan Louie, MD - Walter Greenleaf, PhD

Brainstorm is the world's first academic laboratory dedicated to transforming brain health through entrepreneurship. Based at Stanford and launched by a founding team of physicians from across the country, we apply the biopsychosocial model of disease to tackle problems on the systems level. We unite the worlds of medicine, business, and technology to foster innovative ventures that optimize health and human potential. Here's how:

  • EDUCATE: We educate students, clinicians, entrepreneurs, executives, and the public about ventures and trends in the field. How? Through our new university course at Stanford, innovation workshops, and our research, articles, and books. Keep an eye out for them. There’s good stuff on the way.
  • COLLABORATE: We identify visionary innovators and connect you with the resources and people you need to turn your ideas into successful ventures. Our Innovation Labs incubate the most promising ideas for using technology to transform brain health. Join our Brainstorm-ing Sessions to network and find the missing link to your team.
  • CREATE: Our team is united around a desire to build the ventures that will transform brain health. We partner with you to develop, launch, and scale your venture, ensuring that your idea is both clinically effective and financially sustainable. Think of us as consultants with deep domain expertise who put your venture on the fast track to making an impact.

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Steven Adelsheim, M.D.

Steven Adelsheim, MD is a child/adolescent and adult psychiatrist who works to support community behavioral health partnerships locally, regionally, at the state level and nationally. He is the Director of the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Adelsheim has partnered in developing statewide mental health policy and systems, including those focused on school mental health, telebehavioral health, tribal behavioral health programs, and suicide prevention. For many years Dr. Adelsheim has been developing and implementing early detection/intervention programs for young people in school-based and primary care settings, including programs for depression, anxiety, prodromal symptoms of psychosis, and first episodes of psychosis. Dr. Adelsheim is also involved in the implementation of integrated behavioral health care models in primary care settings as well as the use of media to decrease stigma surrounding mental health issues. He is currently leading the US effort to implement the headspace model of mental health early intervention for young people ages 12-25 based in Australia. Dr. Adelsheim also leads the national clinical network for early psychosis programs called PEPPNET.

Profile | Website

Sarah Adler, Psy.D.

Collaborators: Debra Safer, MD Mytilee Vermuri, MD Ellie Williams, MD Cristin Runfola, PhD Jane Kim, PhD

Our lab investigates how technology can be integrated with behavioral health interventions to increase access to care by creating efficient and effective ways to deliver care. Current projects include:

  • Virtual and Augmented Reality in the Treatment of Eating Disorders: a feasibility and acceptability pilot
  • Measurement Based Care to Inform Clinical Decision Making: Building the Model using Machine Learning  
  • An AI Approach to Behavioral Adherence: An Apple Watch Study (link)
  • Early Adherence Targeted Therapy: A Video Delivered Intervention for Post Bariatric Patients

E-mail | Profile

Joseph Cheung, M.D.

Collaborators: Emmanuel Mignot, M.D., Ph.D., Jamie Zeitzer, Ph.D.

 Dr. Cheung is a clinical instructor in sleep medicine and specializes in the treatment of sleep disorders, particularly in hypersomnia disorders. His research focus is on understanding the neurobiological and genetic basis of hypersomnia disorders. Dr. Cheung is also investigating applications of wearable and other digital technologies to the study of sleep.

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Victoria Cosgrove, Ph.D. 

Collaborators: Trisha Suppes, M.D., Ph.D., Michael Berk, Ph.D.

MoodSwings 2.0 is an online self-help tool for people with bipolar disorder. Material used in the MoodSwings website is based on an effective face-to-face group program found to be successful in reducing episodes of illness. First launched in 2007, this website has recently been evaluated as part of a study conducted through the University of Melbourne and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, with support from the National Institutes of Health.

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Christine Gould, Ph.D.

Collaborators: Ruth O'Hara, PhD; Sherry Beaudreau, PhD

Dr. Gould's research program aims to develop technology-delivered mental health interventions for older adults and to provide the structure needed by many older adults to be able to use technology successfully. Her ongoing and recently completed research funded by a NARSAD award and a VA Career Development Award, includes: (1) a completed a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a video-delivered relaxation treatment; (2) completed mixed methods study tailoring video-delivered treatment for older Veterans; (3) ongoing in-depth interview study about older Veterans’ technology preferences; (4) a RCT of the tailored video-delivered treatment for older Veterans with anxiety disorders (2018); and (5) a study examining an app for depression in middle aged and older adults.

E-mail | Profile 

Vicki Harrison, M.S.W.

Vicki Harrison is Manager of the Center for Youth Mental Health & Wellbeing within the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She manages over a dozen projects promoting early intervention, stigma reduction and increased access to mental health services, particularly for young people ages 12-25. The impact and influence of media and technology on mental health is a key area of her interest. She is currently working on the web-based adaptation of a mental health screening tool for high school students and was the organizing force behind the first annual Stanford Mental Health Innovation Challenge for high school students earlier this year. She is also one of the core departmental staff who has been supporting the evolution and development of the Mental Health Technology and Innovation Hub. 

Eric Kuhn, Ph.D.

Collaborators: Jason Owen, Ph.D., M.P.H., Beth Jaworski, Ph.D., Julia Hoffman, Psy.D., Kyle Possemato, Ph.D., Katherine Miller, Ph.D., & Chris Erbes, Ph.D.

Dr. Kuhn and his collaborators' research focuses on developing and using both web and mobile technology to increase access to, initiation of, and engagement in PTSD and related mental health care and to make such care more patient centered, efficient, and effective. Dr. Kuhn is a co-founder of and a leader within VA's Mobile Apps Program in the National Center for PTSD, which is credited with developing VA's first publicly released mobile app, PTSD Coach, in 2011. He has active lines of research developing and evaluating self-management apps and web-based interventions with and without human assistance (including both mental health professional and non-professional coaches) using supportive accountability and theory-driven (e.g., social cognitive theory, self-determination theory) approaches to promote technology use. In collaboration with Dr. Owen, he is developing web dashboards that will enable clinicians to track patients' app use and self-monitoring data between visits to deliver precision care and increase therapy adherence. They are developing “big” and “small” data modeling approaches to begin to understand general and within-user relationships between app data (and possibly other mobile data sources) and clinical outcomes.  Dr. Kuhn's research also focuses on implementation science with a specific emphasis on factors related to the adoption and sustained use of technology by mental health therapists, other health care providers, and systems of care.

E-mail | Profile


Alan Louie, M.D.

“Reimagining Mental Healthcare” challenges us to put aside what we know about mental healthcare and to start from scratch – to reimagine mental healthcare. This special initiative of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences seeks to dream into the future of mental healthcare. Participants bring to bear on this task theories, tools, and expertise from fields outside mental healthcare – in particular, from information technology, design thinking, and implementation science. In essence, the Reimagining Mental Healthcare Group is an incubator and accelerator of ideas and projects. We incubate ideas, iterate and refine their solutions, and accelerate their translation (T1 through T4)3 into improved mental healthcare. Participants bring different expertise to collaborations, and meetings with members of other Stanford Schools (e.g., Stanford School of Engineering) and Silicon Valley industries are additional resources for consultation and joint ventures.

E-mail | Profile | Website

Adam Miner, Psy.D.

Dr. Miner is an AI psychologist, whose research addresses the use and design of conversational AI (e.g. digital assistants or chatbots) in health. In service to improving access to high quality mental health care, Dr. Miner’s research and collaborations focus on allowing digital assistants to recognize, respect, and respond to health issues through controlled and naturalistic studies. Dr. Miner is an instructor in Stanford’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and KL2 Fellow in epidemiology and clinical research, with active collaborations in computer science, biomedical informatics, and communication. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Clinical Excellence Research Center (CERC), using human-centered design to create new models of health care delivery to safely reduce national health spending and improve access to care. He obtained his doctorate in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.

E-mail | Talking to Machines About Personal Mental Health Problems | Stanford scholars discuss the benefits and risks of using talking software to address mental health|

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Erika Roach, M.A.

Erika Roach is program coordinator at the Stanford Center for Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing within Stanford's Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. In her role, she manages several workgroups focused on early psychosis and multicultural outreach.  She is also one of the core departmental staff who has been supporting the development of the Mental Health Technology and Innovation Hub.  Erika's research background is in affective science and emotion regulation techniques.  She is particularly interested in leveraging technology and human-centered design to make mental health care more accessible for vulnerable populations.  Previously, she worked in Data Analytics at the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and served on the steering committee of the Non-Profit Technology Network .

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Lauren M. Schneider, Psy.D.

Collaborators: Anne Dubin MD, Richard Shaw MD, Christopher Almond MD

Dr. Schneider and Dr. Dubin are interested in applications of Virtual Reality to pediatric patients with acute and chronic medical conditions. Furthermore, Drs. Schneider, Shaw, and Almond have proposed a study that utilizes technological advances to conduct the psychosocial component of pediatric solid organ transplant evaluations.

E-mailProject Brave Heart: Studying the impact of virtual reality preparation and relaxation therapy

C. Barr Taylor, M.D. 

Collaborators:  Behavioral Medicine Technology Laboratory, Center for m²Health

InJoy Program - The InJoy program is an internet based depression prevention program designed for adolescents and young adults. We developed and studied the effects of the program in two studies at a local high school with 7 freshmen classes and found significant improvements in depression risk for students identified to be at high-risk for depression, as well as good overall preventive effects for the universal population of students. InJoy utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy and positive psychology principles, includes interactive exercises, and a peer discussion forum. This program was developed by Nicole Redzic, Barr Taylor, and colleagues at the Behavioral Medicine Lab at Stanford University in 2010, was subsequently studied, and results were published in 2014 in the Journal for Positive Psychology.

Center for m²Health | Behavioral Medicine Technology Lab 

Ranak Trivedi, Ph.D.

Collaborators: Steven Asch, MD, MPH; Donna Zulman, MD, MPH: Keith Humphreys, PhD; Joe Ruzek, PhD

The Trivedi Lab is developing self-management interventions to improve the health and well-being of patients with heart failure, cancer, and/or depression, and their family caregivers. Ongoing projects include: 1. Web-SUCCEED, a dyadic program to improve collaborative coping within a patient-caregiver dyad 2. Mobile-SUCCEED, which will adapt the web-based program for mobile devices.

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