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.

New MSc student working with the team

Anathema team welcomes Diogo Coutinho, a student from the Masters in Services Engineering and Management at the University of Porto, who will be researching how to design out stigma in the sexual health promotion programme.

Stigma is a key factor in technology acceptance. Ignoring it, makes useful technology left unused and health conditions left uncared for. To tackle this problem designers and design researchers alike need to work directly with the stigmatising topics that affect users, which is difficult, because some existing methodologies are inappropriate and there are scarce guidelines. This project aims to contribute to fill this gap, by giving new strategies to deal with stigma in design research activities.

The research aims to explore ways to tackle stigma in Anathema using design research tools at the intersection with market delivery of the programme. The research will be informed by prior research work in the Design & Emotion field and very focused on experimentation with design research methods, method adaptation and tailoring to target users and communication means (e.g., in person vs remote).

As main outcomes, this MSc research is expected to deliver recommendations for design researchers to address the subject with specific user groups, as well as service blueprints and plans to support Anathema’s market delivery.

Ethical Dialogue session

On March 28, between 3pm and 5pm CET, Anathema will hold an “Ethical Dialogue” session, which will be open to all who wish to attend. The purpose of Ethical Dialogue sessions on the Active Assisted Living Joint Programme is to have different stakeholders discuss the product or service under development, as well as the research and development process itself.

In this session, we will present preliminary results of project Anathema, followed by the dialogue session, which will be moderated by Susana Magalhães (i3S).


Please join us on MS Teams using this link.