How can VCAs help manage chronic conditions?
How can voice-based conversational agents support us with managing a health condition? In their research article titled “Voice-Based Conversational Agents for the Prevention and Management of Chronic and Mental Health Conditions: Systematic Literature Review”, the authors Caterina Bérubé, Theresa Schachner, Roman Keller, Elgar Fleisch, Florian von Wangenheim, Filipe Barata and Tobias Kowatsch, looked into this question by using a systematic literature review.
Voice-based conversational agents can be used as an alternative to text-based mobile interventions. They have the goal of supporting us in making changes to our lifestyle and health behaviours. Voice-based conversational agents (VCAs) are able to recognise human voice and to respond to triggers. These devices can assist us with everyday tasks and provide us with reminders. The authors explain that compared to text-based conversational agents, VCAs have the advantage of using the naturalness and and social presence of human conversations to create an alliance with the user. Additionally, VCAs can offer invaluable support to people with disabilities and impairments. For instance, a patient with a visual impairment might get access to care and support at home through a smartspeaker.
In their study, the authors set out to understand the current evidence level for using VCAs for the prevention and management of chronic and mental health conditions. The authors were additionally interested in comparing the methods used to evaluate these tools.
Bérubé, C., Schachner, T., Keller, R., Fleisch, E., von Wangenheim, F., Barata, F., Kowatsch, T., Voice-based Conversational Agents for the Prevention and Management of Chronic and Mental Conditions: A Systematic Literature Review, Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) 23(3):e25933, 10.2196/25933.