Internet of Things for Mental Health: Open Issues in Data Acquisition, Self-Organization, Service Level Agreement, and Identity Management

Leonardo J. Gutierrez, Kashif Rabbani, Oluwashina Ajayi, Samson Gebresilassie, Joseph Rafferty, Luis A. Castro, Oresti Banos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
152 Downloads (Pure)


The increase of mental illness cases around the world can be described as an urgent and serious global health threat. Around 500 million people suffer from mental disorders, among which depression, schizophrenia, and dementia are the most prevalent. Revolutionary technological paradigms such as the Internet of Things (IoT) provide us with new capabilities to detect, assess, and care for patients early. This paper comprehensively survey works done at the intersection between IoT and mental health disorders. We evaluate multiple computational platforms, methods and devices, as well as study results and potential open issues for the effective use of IoT systems in mental health. We particularly elaborate on relevant open challenges in the use of existing IoT solutions for mental health care, which can be relevant given the potential impairments in some mental health patients such as data acquisition issues, lack of self-organization of devices and service level agreement, and security, privacy and consent issues, among others. We aim at opening the conversation for future research in this rather emerging area by outlining possible new paths based on the results and conclusions of this work.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1327
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work has been partially funded by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), the Sonora Institute of Technology (ITSON) via the PROFAPI program (PRO-FAPI_2020_0055) and also the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICINN) project ?Advanced Computing Architectures and Machine Learning-Based Solutions for Complex Problems in Bioinformatics, Biotechnology and Biomedicine? (RTI2018-101674-B-I00).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Mental health
  • Security
  • Self-organization
  • Service level agreement


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