Ipsit Vahia, MD

Ipsit Vahia, MD

McLean Hospital Title
Harvard Medical School Title
  • Assistant Professor of Psychiatry


Ipsit Vahia, MD, is a geriatric psychiatrist, clinician, and researcher. He is the interim chief of the Division of Geriatric Psychiatry and director of Digital Psychiatry Translation at McLean Hospital. He is also director of the Technology and Aging Laboratory. His research focuses on the use of technology and informatics in the assessment and management of older adults and currently, he oversees a clinical and research program on aging, behavior, and technology. He has published extensively in major international journals and textbooks.

Dr. Vahia serves on the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Council on Geriatric Psychiatry and the Geriatric Psychiatry Committee of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He has served on the board of directors of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (AAGP) and on the editorial boards of five journals including his current role as social media editor of the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. He is a recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2016 AAGP Barry Lebowitz Award and the 2014 APA Hartford Jeste Award.

Research Focus:

Dr. Vahia heads the Technology and Aging Laboratory at McLean Hospital, which studies how digital tools can impact the psychiatric care of older adults. His research has two primary areas of focus—developing approaches based on digital phenotyping to support diagnostics and monitoring of patients with dementia and late-life psychiatric disorders, and developing and implementing digitally enhanced therapeutic approaches for older adults.

Dr. Vahia currently leads a study evaluating how the use of passive sensing, supported by signal processing and machine learning can be used to measure and map motion patterns in people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These patterns, in turn, may serve as proxy measurements for the real-time detection and prediction of behavioral symptoms such as pacing, agitation, and apathy. The project is currently focusing on radiowave-based sensing, wearable accelerometers, and infrared motion sensors.

Dr. Vahia is also the principal investigator of a large study that is examining how electronic media (text messaging, emails) can be incorporated into psychotherapy to improve outcomes. In the realm of digital therapeutics, Dr. Vahia and his lab are developing virtual reality-based psychotherapies for older adults.

He is also involved in several partnerships with start-up companies to build, test proof of concept, and study the impact of mobile and web-based applications for caregivers of persons with dementia.

The Technology in Aging Laboratory is also closely integrated with the geriatric psychiatry outpatient programs at McLean Hospital and oversees and studies the implementation of digital therapeutics in patient care.

  • Emily Kilpatrick, Research Project Manager
  • Aniqa Rahman, Research Assistant
  • Sarah Salcone, Research Assistant
  • Justin T. Baker, MD, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • Courtney Beard, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • Meg Chisolm, MD, Johns Hopkins University
  • Brent P. Forester, MD, MSc, Tufts Medicine
  • Laura Germine, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • David G. Harper, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • Bettina Husebo, MD, University of Bergen, Norway
  • Zach Kabelac, PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Dina Katabi. PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jeffrey Kaye, MD, Oregon Health Sciences University
  • Raina Merchant, MD, University of Pennsylvania
  • Mona Potter, MD, McLean Hospital
  • Kerry J. Ressler, MD, PhD, McLean Hospital
  • Benjamin Silverman, MD, McLean Hospital
  • Peter Zandi, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
Selected Publications:

Collier S, Monette P, Hobbs K, Tabasky E, Forester BP, Vahia IV. Mapping movement: applying motion measurement technologies to the psychiatric care of older adults. Current Psychiatry Reports 2018;20(8):64.

Hobbs KW, Monette PJ, Owoyemi P, Beard C, Rauch SL, Ressler KJ, Vahia IV. Incorporating information from electronic and social media into psychiatric and psychotherapeutic patient care: survey among clinicians. Journal of Medical Internet Research 2019;21(7).

Bader CS, Skurla M, Vahia IV. Technology in the assessment, treatment, and management of depression. Harvard Review of Psychiatry 2020;28(1):60-66.

PubMed search for Dr. Vahia

Education & Training

  • 2002 MD, Grant Medical College/University of Mumbai
  • 2003-2007 Psychiatry Residency, SUNY Downstate Medical Center
  • 2007-2009 Aging Research Fellowship, University of California San Diego
  • 2012-2013 Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship, University of California, San Diego
Board Certifications:
  • 2007 Medical License, State of California
  • 2009, 2019 Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 2014, 2019 Geriatric Psychiatry, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
  • 2016 Medical License, Board of Registration in Medicine, Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Phone: 617.855.3291
Office Address: Belmont campus - South Belknap, Room 308