TRICH or Treat

Development of behavioral-therapy system for treatment of Trichotillomania


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Membership level
2020-2021 Team
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Team Name
TRICH or Treat
Project Title
Development of behavioral-therapy system for treatment of Trichotillomania
Design Challenge
Trichotillomania affects about 3 million people in the US, causing impairment, distress, and problems with psychological adjustment. Behavior therapy is a promising treatment but has difficulties with reinforcing acceptable behavior sufficiently. We are senior design students at Rice University studying Trichotillomania in order to design and build a system capable of identifying behavior of interest and treating non-desired behavior using a reward-based system. Our goal is to develop a solution that can provide more effective treatment for Trichotillomania by reducing the frequency of false positives by using a sensor glove in conjunction with a phone application.
Design Summary
The TRICH or Treat trichotillomania (TTM) therapy device is a two-component system that consists of a glove wearable and a smartphone app. The glove wearable has flex sensors and a gyroscope that are wired to an Arduino Uno Rev3, which collects and interprets data collected from the sensors and gyroscope to determine whether a hair-pull occurred. An HC-05 Wireless Bluetooth RF Transceiver connected to the Arduino Uno Rev3 allows for a hair-pull trigger signal to be transmitted from the Uno Rev3 to a smartphone. The smartphone app component of this device provides an interface for the user to track their hair-pulling behavior. There is a timer on the home screen that keeps track of “no-pull” streaks and allows the user to access rewards following streaks exceeding one day. Additionally, there is a bar graph that shows the user their pulling behaviors for the past week.

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Contact us

Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen
Rice University

6100 Main Street MS 390 | Houston, Texas | 77005

Phone: 713.348.OEDK


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