Spring School of Global Health

Challenges in AI and mobile health for leveraging access to care in mental health

Geneva, the 11th & 12th April 2024- 1 ECTS 




  • Dre Margot Morgiève (researcher in the social sciences of mental health and digital mental health - INSERM CERMES3 Paris FR)
  • Pr Swann Pichon (professor of psychology and digital health, HEDS, HES-SO CH)
  • Dre Camille Piguet (MD, PhD, Psychiatry and Neuroscience – UNIGE, Geneva University Hospitals (HUG))
  • Pre Katarzyna Wac (PhD, professor of computer science and digital health - UNIGE, Geneva School of Economics and Management)


SSPH+ Courses | SSPH+ (ssphplus.ch)


The World Health Organization estimates that nearly one billion individuals grapple with a Mental Health disorder. Despite the substantial prevalence of mental health conditions, only a limited number of people worldwide have access to quality mental health services.

Among a plethora of digital tools developed, only a few have shown capacity in addressing mental health problems and in compensating some of the known global inequalities in access to mental health support. For instance, internet websites and mobile applications have the potential to provide wider access to mental health prevention and promotion, to online peer-support communities, to online therapies, texting interventions or to teleconsultation.

AI, including deep learning and large language models (LLMs), also offer promising pathways for increasing access to care in mental health. 2023 has seen a rapid acceleration of LLMs in their aptitude to answer complex questions, including medical questions. These capabilities attract speculations on the potential of LLMs to provide safe and evidence-based answers to the needs of the public and patients. These technologies also question their influence and place in the therapeutic alliance with healthcare professionals, and the involvement of patients in their design. At their present stage of development, important limitations remain which include safety, efficiency, access and data protection and because some of these technologies have also demonstrated their propensity to instigate harm and display biases related to gender, skin color, sexuality or age.

During this 2-day workshop, participants and experts will present their work and discuss the opportunities and challenges that digital innovations are facing to leverage access to care in mental health. A second objective of this workshop will be to conduct a collaborative ideathon project in groups to conceptualize one project idea for which they think that mobile health and/or AI may bring a significant value for ameliorating well-being and access to care in mental health.

Participants will be encouraged to anticipate the implications of the project in terms of cultural context, access, adhesion, ethics, data analytics and financing. This exercise will benefit from interactions with the speakers and the course instructors present during the workshop


We seek to cultivate a multidisciplinary approach, the course is therefore opened to a broad range of disciplines (i.e. health/medical, social humanities, IT/engineering, …) with an interest in digital technologies and mental health. The course is opened to persons with a master degree.


The course will take place in Geneva in person but an hybrid modality online is possible


1 ECTS (registration opened to graduates with a master's degree)


  • We will provide a Teams access to exchange information
  • We will provide general readings on the topic before the workshop


11th & 12th April 2024 (Geneva Faculty of Medicine, Rue Michel Servet 1. CH-1211 Geneva)

Experts Invited (to be confirmed)

  • Dr Stéphane Mouchabak (MD, PhD, Psychiatrist - Hôpital Saint Antoine à Paris)
  • Dr François-Régis Chaumartin (fondateur et CEO de la startup Celeste, VP Semantic Data Science - Dassault Systèmes)
  • Pr Neo Christopher Chung (PhD informatics - University of Warsaw)
  • Dr Sofian Berrouiguet (Md, Psychiatrist & PhD in informatics - U. Hospital Brest)
  • Pr Laura Ospina (MD, PhD, Psychiatrist child adolescent & family - Universidad Javeriana)
  • Rania Niri, Guillaume Chanel (PhD informatics - University of Geneva)


  • CHF 400 for SSPH+ members, UNIGE or HES-SO members and partner institutions.
  • CHF 500 for externals
  • Meals, coffees and a social event are offered to participants


10 to 20 participants