Using Health Chatbots for Behavior Change: A Mapping Study

Juanan Pereira, Óscar Díaz
Journal of Medical Systems 2019 April 4, 43 (5): 135
This study conducts a mapping study to survey the landscape of health chatbots along three research questions: What illnesses are chatbots tackling? What patient competences are chatbots aimed at? Which chatbot technical enablers are of most interest in the health domain? We identify 30 articles related to health chatbots from 2014 to 2018. We analyze the selected articles qualitatively and extract a triplet <technicalEnablers, competence, illness> for each of them. This data serves to provide a first overview of chatbot-mediated behavior change on the health domain. Main insights include: nutritional disorders and neurological disorders as the main illness areas being tackled; "affect" as the human competence most pursued by chatbots to attain change behavior; and "personalization" and "consumability" as the most appreciated technical enablers. On the other hand, main limitations include lack of adherence to good practices to case-study reporting, and a deeper look at the broader sociological implications brought by this technology.

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