Research Projects

Therapeutic Encounters with AI - TEwAI

The project aims to contribute to the understanding and theory of digital transformation in healthcare by focusing specifically on digital mental health. In particular, the focus will be on the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in the care of individuals and their mental health. The aim of the project is:

  •  To understand how AI is reconfiguring perceptions and knowledge practices in the field of mental health
  •  To identify how sociology can contribute to our understanding of the communicative or interactive performance of AI in the context of mental health
  •  Identify means by which sociologists can participate in shaping desirable, ethical and responsible forms of AI in mental health

The project is in collaboration with the University of Sussex (UK).

DIM.RUHR - Data Competence Center for the Interprofessional Use of Health Data in the Ruhr Metropolis

The aim of DIM.RUHR is to create a data competence center for the Ruhr innovation region that primarily supports researchers from the health sector in their work with health data.

The project pursues three main objectives in the field of health data competence. The teaching objective aims to develop teaching and learning modules that are accessible to various target groups in the healthcare sector, especially those working in outpatient care. These modules should help to improve the quality of data collection, storage, processing and use. The research objective involves encouraging young scientists to conduct more research in the field of data science. The focus is on questions of data donation, consent, ethics, quality and diversity. The establishment of an experimental space provides a platform for networking research, care and practice to explore data-generating systems and existing data sets. The networking objective aims to develop structures for research data management. This includes the development of a joint health data repository in cooperation with universities and the implementation of a workshop program for regional and supra-regional networking. Through these measures, the project contributes to strengthening skills in handling health data and promoting cooperation between different players in the healthcare sector.

Cooperation partners

Consortium leader: Sven Meister, University of Witten/Herdecke
Ruhr University Bochum
Hochschule für Gesundheit University of Applied Sciences for Health
Frauenhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering
Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
ZB MED Information Center for Life Sciences

Funded by

Federal Ministry of Education and Research


November 2023 - November 2026


Working conditions in hospitals and inpatient care for the elderly are increasingly characterized by work intensification and high physical and psychological demands. There are many reasons for the high workload and work intensification in the nursing sector. These include inefficient communication channels and increasing documentation requirements. Innovative, simple and secure ways must be created to relieve the workload of nursing staff and to increase the overall quality of care. The dexter project is meeting this challenge and developing a system that uses digital voice assistants, also known as smart speakers, to help people - even those without a basic understanding of digital technology - to contact caregivers in emergencies intuitively and without barriers by voice. The goal is to enable people in need of care to communicate their needs and problems to caregivers via the smart speaker, allowing them to prioritize and act accordingly. In addition, dexter also supports caregivers directly by enabling them to complete documentation tasks by voice.


since September 2021


Evaluation of the Program „Gesund und fit studieren an der FFH“

The objective of the project "Healthy and fit studying at the FFH", which is being carried out at the Fliedner University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, is to introduce a variety of behavioral and relationship preventive measures as part of the company health management for students. The overriding goal is to improve the health of students by the end of the project period (2025). The Ruhr University Bochum is responsible for the process evaluation. By means of questionnaires and interviews, interim results are used to determine whether the overarching objective or the sub-objectives have been achieved and where adjustments may need to be made.



Training Program for Enhancing the Adoption of Mobile Health Technologies by Persons With Mild Dementia (mHealth-AD)

The aim of the project is to identify technologies for people with dementia, their relatives, but also for professional caregivers and to develop training materials so that these technologies can be used in a target-oriented way. The project is funded by the Erasmus+ program and takes place in exchange with nine partner organizations, among others in Greece, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

Mhealth-ad 8

Digital Health Ökosystem NRW - Fokus Start-ups 2025

The highly regulated healthcare industry poses special challenges for founders and digital health start-ups in order to successfully implement their ideas. The complex demands that the healthcare industry places on founders require industry-specific support structures along the entire start-up journey from the initial idea to the marketing of the product. In the project Digital Health Ecosystem NRW - Focus Start-ups 2025, a sustainable ecosystem with a focus on digital health start-ups has been established, which produces patient-oriented digital products and digitally supported innovative services. This works complementarily and in cooperation with the already existing diverse offers of start-up support and builds on four pillars:

  •         A continuous monitoring of the digital health landscape in North Rhine-Westphalia.
  •         Establishment of a central point of contact and a NRW-wide network to promote exchange within the start-up landscape
  •         Development of industry-specific training offers for digital health start-ups
  •         Testing of competence networks in which start-ups can meet patients and players in the healthcare sector at an early stage.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Protection and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.


10.11.2022 - End 2025

Digi-healthstart Logo Vektor Black

Training Program for Enhancing the Adoption of Mobile Health by Persons with Mental Health Problems (Mental Mobile Health)

The aim of the project is to improve the competences of people with mental illness to improve their self-management through the implementation of mobile health solutions. The project is funded under the Erasmus+ program and takes place in exchange with four partner organizations, in Spain, Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece and Romania.


31.12.2022 - End 2024


Mental Mobile Health Logo 1_

Therapeutic Encounters with AI - TEwAI

The project aims to contribute to the understanding and theory of digital transformation in healthcare by focusing specifically on digital mental health. In particular, the focus will be on the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the care of individuals and their mental health. Thus, the goal of the project is to:

  •     Understand how AI is reconfiguring mental health perceptions and knowledge practices.
  •     To identify what contribution sociology can make to our understanding of AI's communicative or interactive performance in the mental health context
  •     To identify means by which sociologists:can participate in shaping desirable, ethical, and responsible forms of AI in the mental health field

The project is taking place in cooperation with the United Kingdom.