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Cara

Sean Aherne

An artificial intelligence chatbot to track, manage and support a users mental health

INTRODUCTION

This prototype was developed by final year student Sean Aherne from Digital Media Design. It is an Artificial Intelligence chatbot that helps people of all ages to manage and track important areas of their life that contribute to their mental health. The aim is to allow individuals keep tabs on aspects that are critical to having healthy mental health.

This app followed user-centered design which is an iterative design process where the designers focus on the users and their needs in each phase of the design process. So throughout the creation of the app I always had the user at the forefront and consulted any design changes or design implementations with them. This allowed me to gain insights and and find problems that I would not have found on my own.

OBJECTIVES

New reports from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland showed that 1 in 5 young Irish adults aged between 19 and 24 suffered from mental health issues and another study showing the same rate in people over the age of 55 . Mental Health has been a long debate in Ireland and the services provided to our youth and people in need are really not good enough. A study undertaken by the University of College Dublin which interviewed 8 young Irish adults who had been in mental health service care believed they were “being let down by services”. In 2019 we are seeing more and more digital alternatives for treating mental illness and mental health issues. In June the HSE partnered up with the technology firm SilverCloud to help provide online self management programs for individuals with bipolar disorders. 92% of the public have access to a smart phone in 2019 so the barrier to entry is minimal for people who want to take action in their own hands for improving their mental health.

Chatbot, short for chatterbot, is an Artificial Intelligence computer program. The chatbot simulates human conversation through voice commands or text chats or both. Cara provides the user with someone to talk to and suggests proven techniques for helping with stress, anxiety and depression. A daily simple form that can be filled out allows the user comparison over time as to how their mental health is improving or dis improving. The app allows the user to view this information and help them interpret the data.

 

 

Date Published

Tuesday, August 31, 2021