A Chatbot Helped More People Access Mental-Health Services

02/05/2024

Article Excerpt: An AI chatbot helped increase the number of patients referred for mental-health services through England’s National Health Service (NHS), particularly among underrepresented groups who are less likely to seek help, new research has found. Demand for mental-health services in England is on the rise, particularly since the covid-19 pandemic. Mental-health services received 4.6 million patient referrals in 2022—the highest number on record—and the number of people in contact with such services is growing steadily. But neither the funding nor the number of mental-health professionals is adequate to meet this rising demand, according to the British Medical Association. The chatbot’s creators, from the AI company Limbic, set out to investigate whether AI could lower the barrier to care by helping patients access help more quickly and efficiently. A new study, published today in Nature Medicine, evaluated the effect that the chatbot, called Limbic Access, had on referrals to the NHS Talking Therapies for Anxiety and Depression program, a series of evidence-based psychological therapies for adults experiencing anxiety disorders, depression, or both.

Full Article: http://tinyurl.com/4ybhhjye

Article Source: MIT Technology Review