RELATIONAL AGENTS GROUP
Relational Agents are computer agents designed to form long-term, social-emotional relationships with their users. We are investigating the use of these agents in task domains in which human-agent relationships actually improve task outcomes, such as in coaching, counseling, psychotherapy and healthcare.

A RCT to Reduce Cardiopulmonary Re-hospitalizations

This five-year, NIH/NHLBI-funded project, in collaboration with Boston Medical Center, has developed procedures and technologies for educating hospital patients about their conditions and post-discharge self-care, medications, and follow-up appointments, in an effort to reduce re-hospitalizations due to poor patient communication and patient non-compliance. We have developed a conversational virtual nurse agent that conducts a bedside dialogue with patients immediately prior to hospital discharge. This intervention was compared with a standard-of-care control condition in a randomized clinical trial involving 750 patients being discharged from Boston Medical Center. [Quicktime VIDEO]

In a follow-on project funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ("Virtual Patient Advocate to Reduce Adverse Drug Events"), we have developed an intervention that follows patients home from the hospital through to their first visit with their Primary Care Physician, using a web-based virtual nurse. [DEMO]

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