Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University
Inaugurated in September of 2011, the Northwestern University Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies provides a unique home for research and education on Behavioral Intervention Technologies (BITs). BITs are applications that use technologies such as mobile phones, computers, tablets, and sensors to support behaviors that improve health, including mental health.
CBITs is made up of a multidisciplinary group of researchers working in the fields of Engineering, Computer Science, Psychology, Medicine, and Health Services. Although our approaches differ, we share this goal: to improve the understanding of BITs from design to evaluation and from implementation to dissemination. We are not just interested in how existing evidence-based health interventions can be enhanced by technology; we are invested in exploring how tomorrow’s technological advances can fundamentally change the way we understand and intervene in human behavior to improve health and well-being.
In addition to funded research by CBITs faculty, the Center also houses the BIT Development Core, a Feinberg School of Medicine Core Facility that supports researchers in the conceptualization, creation and deployment of BITs. Our in-house engineering team has created Purple, which is the foundation of our behavioral intervention technologies development program. Purple's authorship tools allow investigators to expediently create and manage behavioral interventions. Purple avoids the need to build behavioral technologies from scratch by storing development strategies, as well as researcher and client-side technologies, in a manner that can be re-purposed for new research projects.