Saybrook Alum and Harvard Medical School researcher Roland Carlstedt among 5 finalists in Boston Health Technology Contest

Roland Carlstedt, Ph.D.

Roland Carlstedt, Ph.D.

Dr. Roland Carlstedt, a Saybrook University alumnus (MA, 1998; Ph.D., 2001) living in New York City and Boston, is a finalist in the Partners Healthcare Connected Health “15 Pitch-Off: Emotion Sensing” contest. The finalists were chosen by a combination of crowd voting and expert judge scoring from among the 14 online submissions received. Dr. Carlstedt finished first in the total voting. A live event will be held on October 28 at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, where the finalists will compete in front of an audience and a panel of expert judges to determine the winners.

Dr. Carlstedt is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified sport psychologist. He is a research associate in psychology in McLean Hospital’s Developmental Biopsychiatry Research Program, a research associate in psychology in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Psychiatry, and currently the chairman and chief sport psychologist of the American Board of Sport Psychology. He is also the clinical and research director for Integrative Psychological Services of New York City.

His contest entry, titled: Bio-marker guided integrative behavioral medicine in the APP era: Accountability analytics, extends on Dr. Carlstedt’s research on the Dual Placebo Effect, a phenomenon in which both the clinician’s and the patient’s perceptions of therapy outcomes are incongruent with underlying psychophysiology. “This can lead to faulty beliefs regarding the effectiveness of the intervention that can mask insidious disease trajectories continuing to advance on a subliminal level,” he said. Using advanced monitoring instrumentation and computer applications (APPs), Dr. Carlstedt said that practitioners are positioned to assess patient biomarker responses in the real world to better determine to what extent “perceived” therapeutic gains actually carry over into a patient’s daily life. However, he said this is only possible if “rigorous methodologies and analytics” are integrated with biomedical monitoring devices to ensure that acquired data is valid and reliable.

“New APPs should be designed to incorporate advanced analytics and used in the context of a longitudinal repeated measures design to acquire sufficient, quality information on autonomic nervous system activity, with heart rate variability offering the most robust signal and analytic capabilities,” said Dr. Carlstedt. He is currently organizing a multi-site Universal Clinical Trial to advance APP-guided biomarker-based behavioral medicine, health psychology and psychotherapy. Clinicians are currently being recruited to participate in this large nationwide research project.

Since being appointed to McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Carlstedt has initiated a number of research collaborations worldwide, including a study of brain imaging of hypnotizability in placebo responders in clinical trials and the impact of repressive coping as part of a five-year National Institutes of Health-funded investigation of the neurobiology of substance abuse in maltreated/abused individuals (P.I., Martin Teicher, M.D., Ph.D.). An additional project involving his clinical denial hypothesis in the context of late-stage cardiologic and oncologic patient presentation is in the conceptualization stage in collaboration with Deepak Bhatt, MD, Director of Interventional Cardiovascular programs at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Harvard University Medical School.

Dr. Carlstedt’s academic advisor while at Saybrook was Dr. Stanley Krippner. His dissertation was awarded the 2001 Dissertation Award of the American Psychological Association’s Division 47 (Exercise and Sport Psychology) under the supervision of Dr. Auke Tellegen of the University of Minnesota.

More information on Dr. Carlstedt’s project and the Boston contest can be found here. For more on Dr. Carlstedt visit his Facebook page. If you are in Boston on October 28th, please stop by the Seaport WTC and say hello to Dr. Carlstedt.