Findings from relevant international and national studies suggests that young people increasingly suffer from mental health issues such as social isolation, anxiety, eating disorders, sexual problems, depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts. SOCIAL HEALTH BOTS address the increasing need for services that can help young people (16-26 years) with mental health issues. Internet-delivered health services may be particularly suitable to reach the present digital generation of young people. The recent developments in artificial intelligence and deep learning, coupled with the broad popular uptake of online digital devices and the emergence of huge data sets (big data) make chatbots a promising supplement to more labour-intensive interventions within health and welfare services. However, the automating power of chatbots in the context of health services are largely understudied. SOCIAL HEALTH BOTS will, therefore, increase our understanding of the future potential of this type of technology, and the possible challenges of robotic services in the context of mental health. Moreover, SOCIAL HEALTH BOTS addresses the need for research and innovation to improve and integrate public healthcare services. This by and understanding of how ground-breaking chatbots can supplement, coordinate and improve relevant health care services targeting young people - to facilitate information and social support for early intervention and a long-term healthy behaviour. A human-centred design approach will support a deep understanding of relevant target users (e.g. young people, information providers, health care workers at schools, psychologists and doctors). Strong user involvement throughout the chain of research and innovation, including The Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (www.ung.no), the health care services at schools in Oslo (Skolehelsetjenesten), and Save the Children, will enhance the relevance and uptake of the project result.
Project leader: Petter Bae Brandtzæg
Category: Teknisk-industrielle institutter
Institution: SINTEF AS