GA meeting in Utrecht

KBO hosted Anathema’s latest General Assembly meeting in the beautiful city of Utrecht.

During the two-day meeting, on September 1-2, we looked at our project’s health and used the time for hands-on work around details to improve in the mobile app, details of the pilot studies which will be starting later this year and all the important aspects of the business and exploitation plans. We advanced quite a lot and have many actions outlined for the next months.

Five people posing to the camera next to a large screen showing faces in online chat

Conferences in September

Anathema will be presented in two important venues.

On September 19-21, we will be in Pittsburgh, USA, to take part in the 11th Scientific Meeting of the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions (ISRII) showcasing Anathema’s app in a live demonstration, as well as presenting a poster entitled ‘Older adults’ acceptability of a smartphone-based sexual health promotion programe’ about the result of an online questionnaire to 1.119 older adults in the Netherlands.

On September 22-23, we head to London, UK, to take part in Include 2022, a renowned conference about Inclusive Design. Here we will present the paper ‘Towards the inclusive design of a digital sexual health promotion programme’ in which we describe the user research process followed by the team to date and recommendations for Anathema’s app behaviour.

Workshops in Portugal

Our student, Diogo Moutinho, is holding workshops with Portuguese older adults from COLABORAR to explore functionalities of Anathema, as well as customer journey aspects. These will help to inform the customer service. With the workshops, Diogo is also testing how to address taboo topics in older adult groups.


A new initiative by ILGA Portugal and FOXLife, the ABCLGBTQIA+ Project, is bringing the definition of 37 terms close to as many people as possible, so that all can be informed about aspects such as gender expression, polyamory, outing, legal sex, gender affirmation, etc.

The content is so far available in Europea portuguese and in English. You can see all the definitions here:

Podcast on digital technology and psychology

Cristina Mendes Santos, Co-PI of project Anathema and a senior researcher at Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS, participated in a podcast by the Portuguese association of Psychologists.

Cristina described project Anathema and provided examples of how digital technology can assist psychologists and patients.

You can listed to it using this link (Portuguese only):—Os-meios-digitais-ao-servio-da-Psicologia-e1haopb

Value proposition survey for professionals

In the beginning of April 2022, we launched a value proposition survey for secondary users, which is available in English, German, Portuguese and Dutch.

If you are a psychology professional, consider filling in this anonymous questionnaire which takes less than 10 minutes to complete. You will be helping us understand if Anathema has a viable business case in the market.

Follow this link to the questionnaire.


Workshop at DRS2022, Bilbao

Anathema will come to the conference of the Design Research Society, held in Bilbao between the 28th of June and the 3rd of July. We will host a one-day, in-person, hands-on workshop where we will share with conference attendance some of the materials, methods and lessons learned during our design research process in the project.

We will partner with Centro Sexologico Borobil who will help attendants become familiar with basic sexual health concepts that we will use throughout the day.

There are only 15 places available, so make sure you register over here.

Suggested reading

The New York Times (NYT) recently published a piece entitled “The Joy (and Challenges) of Sex After 70” by Maggie Jones, a visiting assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

Snippet from the NYT:

“Today, Maggie Jones explores the overlooked topic of geriatric sex. Profiling older couples for whom it is still important, she considers the obstacles and joys of having sex over the age of 70, and the way society has begun to talk more openly about it in recent years.

As bodies change, Jones writes, good sex in old age often requires reimagining and expanding: a conscious inclusion of more touching, kissing, erotic massage, oral sex and sex toys. Along with pleasure, other benefits are linked to sex: a stronger immune system, improved cognitive function, cardiovascular health in women and lower odds of prostate cancer, along with improved sleep, stress reduction and a cultivation of emotional intimacy.

The subset of older people who are having lots of sex well into their 80s could help shape those conversations and policies, while doctors can also do their part by attending to individuals’ physiological impediments to sex. Many sex experts expect more open conversations and policies related to their senior sex lives in the years to come.”

You can also listen to it here.