To what scale are conversational agents used by top-funded companies offering digital mental health services for depression?
- Conference Paper
Rights / licenseIn Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
There is strong support in the literature for the use of conversational agents (CAs) in digital mental healthcare along with a recent increase in funding within digital mental health, indicating the fast growth of the industry. However, it is unknown to what extent CAs are leveraged in these digital interventions for depression. The aim of this study is to therefore explore the scale of CA use in top-funded digital mental health companies targeting depression and describe what purposes they are used for. Companies were identified through searching venture capital databases and screened for the presence and purpose of use of CAs in their interventions for depression. It was found that only 7 out of the 29 top-funded companies used a CA in their intervention. The most common purpose of CA use was education, followed by assistance, training and onboarding. None of the interventions used CAs for elderly assistance, diagnosis or prevention. These results indicate that the industry uptake of CAs in digital interventions for depression within top-funded companies is low. Future work can look into using CAs in areas which this analysis found they are not currently used such as in tailoring to different target populations and in preventing depression. Show more
Book titleProceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies
Pages / Article No.
PublisherScience and Technology Publications, Lda
SubjectConversational Agent; Depression; Mental Health; Venture Capital; Funding
Organisational unit03681 - Fleisch, Elgar / Fleisch, Elgar
08058 - Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC) / Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC)
NotesConference lecture held on February 12, 2021. Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the conference was conducted virtually.
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