Stamps Scholar Spotlight: Arvind Suresh '19

Improving Health Through Music and Complementary Therapies

I am conducting research on how music and other forms of complementary and alternative medicine can help improve the well-being of patients in synergy with existing therapies and treatments. About 1 in 5 Americans is affected by a mental illness such as depression or anxiety at some point in their life, and such disorders are often stigmatized. I therefore plan to investigate how music therapy can impact patients suffering from mental illness and neurological/behavioral disorders such as autism or Alzheimer's disease.

Due to the limited research on the effects of music therapy on health care, I would like to incorporate a computer and data science approach in studying this relationship on a larger scale. I hope to develop a clinical research smartphone application that studies how music of different genres, themes, and melodies can evoke emotions and thoughts that may help patients improve their health from a holistic perspective and aid patients in palliative care. As a musician myself, I also hope to evaluate music's cross-cultural and therapeutic value while exploring cultural differences in healthcare from a global standpoint.

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