Home Kids Health AI coach feasible and useful for behavioral counseling of teens in weight-loss program

AI coach feasible and useful for behavioral counseling of teens in weight-loss program

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Researchers at Nemours Children’s Health System have discovered that a man-made intelligence (AI) behavioral coach, nicknamed Tess (X2ai, Inc), is feasible and useful for behavioral counseling of adolescent sufferers in a weight administration program. The research, printed at present in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine, demonstrates adolescents’ willingness and optimistic response to participating in SMS textual content conversations with the chatbot expertise that simulates human interactions.

Nemours makes use of revolutionary instruments, resembling telemedicine well being teaching and textual content reminders, to assist sufferers and households obtain their weight-loss objectives, and overcome the time and useful resource calls for of common workplace visits. A pure subsequent step was including an AI behavioral coach to permit extra frequent and shorter interactions to maintain sufferers engaged on the trail towards more healthy behaviors, in addition to present an additional layer of care outdoors of workplace hours.”

Lloyd Werk, MD, MPH, director of the Healthy Choices Clinic at Nemours Children Hospital in Orlando

Nemours collaborated with X2ai, an innovator in utilizing synthetic intelligence for psychological teaching. Nemours clinicians reviewed a library of aim setting behavioral interactions collected over 5 years. Working with behavioral specialists, the workforce spent two years pre-populating Tess with a whole bunch of prompts and responses to counsel overweight and pre-diabetic adolescents, together with expressions of empathy and compassion for their weight-loss struggles. The chatbot was additionally custom-made to work together on the objectives of particular people, resembling a teenage boy who dedicated to enjoying basketball to be extra energetic and a lady who shared her curiosity in cooking and exchanged messages round wholesome meals decisions.

Nemours’ Healthy Choices Clinic enrolled 23 sufferers, ages 9-18, with weight problems signs to take part in the pilot research to find out the feasibility of including an AI element to enhance current remedy. Over the course of 10-12 weeks, members exchanged 4,123 messages with the chatbot in 270 conversations. The chatbot initiated most conversations (73 %), offering a complete of 55 hours, 45 minutes of help, with a median dialog size of 12.5 minutes. Overall, members indicated 96 % of the interactions have been useful.

Researchers stated the 2 major causes that folks cease taking children to weight-loss packages is the inconvenience and value of travelling for clinic visits. The chatbot was supposed to cut back the dropout price by offering 24/7 on-demand companies to permit members to have interaction throughout off-hours at their very own frequency and depth. Nearly one in 5 conversations occurred outdoors typical workplace hours. The researchers additionally famous a possible profit from the nameless nature of the communication for bettering help-seeking behaviors and reducing stigma of searching for behavioral help. For instance, one teen boy who was quiet throughout face-to-face encounters exchanged 425 messages.

Intensive behavioral counseling is taken into account a vital half of efficient weight-loss packages. Conversations have been screened recurrently by a psychologist to detect potential behavioral warnings. However, studying and responding to 4,123 texts would have taken as a lot as 137 workers hours. Researchers estimate the chatbot offered an estimated $8,933 financial savings.

“Everyone is used to AI technology, it’s like Siri on your iPhone, so texting with a chatbot isn’t that weird. The difference with Tess is that you can actually text her about what you need to achieve or improve your goals and she’s encouraging. You can’t do that with Siri,” stated Laura Hernandez, 20, a participant in the research from Davenport, Florida. “Tess would ask me, ‘Did you meet that goal?’ and then give me ways to improve or encourage me to continue working on that goal.”

Nemours Children’s Health System is dedicated to investing and supporting prevention companies just like the Healthy Choices Clinic at Nemours Children’s Hospital. The researchers plan to proceed this analysis in to additional perceive the advantages and challenges of integrating AI in a medical weight administration program. The research was supported by in-kind efforts from the collaborators in order to check the feasibility of the intervention. In addition to Dr. Werk, authors included Taylor Stephens of the Children and Adolescents Psychotherapy and Technology Research Lab, and Angela Joerin and Michiel Rauws of X2AI Inc., the maker of the chatbot.



Journal reference:

Werk, L. et al. (2019) Feasibility of pediatric weight problems and prediabetes remedy help by Tess, the AI behavioral teaching chatbot. Translational Behavioral Medicine. doi.org/10.1093/tbm/ibz043

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