To What Scale Are Conversational Agents Used by Top-funded Companies Offering Digital Mental Health Services for Depression?

Aishah Alattas, Gisbert Teepe, Konstantin Leidenberger, Elgar Fleisch, Elgar Fleisch, Elgar Fleisch, Lorraine Car, Lorraine Car, Alicia Salamanca-Sanabria, Tobias Kowatsch, Tobias Kowatsch, Tobias Kowatsch

Abstract

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.

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Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Alattas A., Teepe G., Leidenberger K., Fleisch E., Car L., Salamanca-Sanabria A. and Kowatsch T. (2021). To What Scale Are Conversational Agents Used by Top-funded Companies Offering Digital Mental Health Services for Depression?.In Proceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: Scale-IT-up, ISBN 978-989-758-490-9, pages 801-808. DOI: 10.5220/0010413308010808


in Bibtex Style

@conference{scale-it-up21,
author={Aishah Alattas and Gisbert Teepe and Konstantin Leidenberger and Elgar Fleisch and Lorraine Car and Alicia Salamanca-Sanabria and Tobias Kowatsch},
title={To What Scale Are Conversational Agents Used by Top-funded Companies Offering Digital Mental Health Services for Depression?},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: Scale-IT-up,},
year={2021},
pages={801-808},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0010413308010808},
isbn={978-989-758-490-9},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF

JO - Proceedings of the 14th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies - Volume 4: Scale-IT-up,
TI - To What Scale Are Conversational Agents Used by Top-funded Companies Offering Digital Mental Health Services for Depression?
SN - 978-989-758-490-9
AU - Alattas A.
AU - Teepe G.
AU - Leidenberger K.
AU - Fleisch E.
AU - Car L.
AU - Salamanca-Sanabria A.
AU - Kowatsch T.
PY - 2021
SP - 801
EP - 808
DO - 10.5220/0010413308010808