The Digital Research and Interventions for Volitional Enhancement (DRIVE) lab is a newly-formed research group at UCSF headed by Dr. Danielle Schlosser, PhD.

Dr. Schlosser and the DRIVE lab are interested in harnessing the power of mobile technology in the development of robust, effective interventions for severe mental illness, especially in recent-onset schizophrenia. Currently, there are no effective treatments for negative symptomology in schizophrenia, particularly in motivational and reward-processing deficits. Unfortunately, these deficits lead to a lower quality of life, stunting the growth and aspirations of young, bright people who become acutely psychotic in early adulthood.

Dr. Schlosser and her group have recently developed a new intervention called the Personalized Real-time Intervention for Motivational Enhancement (PRIME). PRIME was conceived as a novel treatment on a mobile phone platform to target motivational deficits and reward processing in this population, integrating core features that include intelligent and personalized goal-setting, access to live motivational coaching, a robust social network of relatable users, and a positive experience capture via photo and video journal. This digital health approach to improve low motivation and quality of life is innovative and ambitious. Dr. Schlosser was awarded two grants from NIMH to bring PRIME to fruition. She was also a recent recipient of the Catalyst Award, given by the UCSF Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) to support innovative researchers and promising science in development and collaboration with industry partners.

The ultimate goal of PRIME is to provide a safe community for young people with schizophrenia and help achieve goals to improve quality of life and regain a sense of control. Currently, the DRIVE lab is collaborating with IDEO, an international design firm, and the UCSF mLab team to design and develop PRIME to be an engaging experience. Clinical trials for the use of PRIME and its efficacy will be underway in early 2014. Dr. Schlosser and team are very excited to see how PRIME will continue to evolve into a personalized, effective intervention for recent-onset schizophrenia.

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