The preconception care system for men (Gabe) involves the developement and deployment of a software application that delivers a health and wellness intervention to young African American men. At the heart of the system is an Relational Agent that has conversations with the users, both to understand which health issues they are at risk for and to discuss potential solutions to those problems.
We use an agent to deliver the content in an engaging way, which has the potential to increase long-term user retention. This is important for improving health outcomes. The project is a collaborative effort between Northeastern University and Boston Medical Center.
With this system, we aim to provide age appropriate health promotion and identify and reduce health risks. Specifically, including men in preconception care interventions may help to meet the 2020 Healthy People objectives and Maternal and Child Health objectives by reducing unintended pregnancies, the infant mortality rate, low birth weight, and preterm birth. The project�s objectives are to introduce new paradigms of care needed to engage young African American men. This population has historically been ignored in policy and research, they have a lower life expectancy, and lack a connection with healthcare, when compared with members of other populations.