Designing, Developing, Evaluating, and Implementing a Smartphone-Delivered, Rule-Based Conversational Agent (DISCOVER): Development of a Conceptual Framework

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract Background: Conversational agents (CAs), also known as chatbots, are computer programs that simulate human conversations by using predetermined rule-based responses or artificial intelligence algorithms. They are increasingly used in health care, particularly via smartphones. There is, at present, no conceptual framework guiding the development of smartphone-based, rule-based CAs in health care. To fill this gap, we propose structured and tailored guidance for their design, development, evaluation, and implementation. Objective: The aim of this study was to develop a conceptual framework for the design, evaluation, and implementation of smartphone-delivered, rule-based, goal-oriented, and text-based CAs for health care. Methods: We followed the approach by Jabareen, which was based on the grounded theory method, to develop this conceptual framework. We performed 2 literature reviews focusing on health care CAs and conceptual frameworks for the development of mobile health interventions. We identified, named, categorized, integrated, and synthesized the information retrieved from the literature reviews to develop the conceptual framework. We then applied this framework by developing a CA and testing it in a feasibility study. Results: The Designing, Developing, Evaluating, and Implementing a Smartphone-Delivered, Rule-Based Conversational Agent (DISCOVER) conceptual framework includes 8 iterative steps grouped into 3 stages, as follows: design, comprising defining the goal, creating an identity, assembling the team, and selecting the delivery interface; development, including developing the content and building the conversation flow; and the evaluation and implementation of the CA. They were complemented by 2 cross-cutting considerations—user-centered design and privacy and security—that were relevant at all stages. This conceptual framework was successfully applied in the development of a CA to support lifestyle changes and prevent type 2 diabetes. Conclusions: Drawing on published evidence, the DISCOVER conceptual framework provides a step-by-step guide for developing rule-based, smartphone-delivered CAs. Further evaluation of this framework in diverse health care areas and settings and for a variety of users is needed to demonstrate its validity. Future research should aim to explore the use of CAs to deliver health care interventions, including behavior change and potential privacy and safety concerns.
Authors Dhinagaran, Dhakshenya Ardhithy; Martinengo, Laura; Ho, Moon-Ho Ringo; Joty, Shafiq; Kowatsch, Tobias; Atun, Rifat & Tudor Car, Lorainne
Journal or Publication Title JMIR mHealth and uHealth
Language English
Subjects computer science
information management
social sciences
behavioral science
health sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Business Innovation
Refereed Yes
Date 4 October 2022
Publisher JMIR Publications
Volume 10
Number 10
Page Range e38740
ISSN 2291-5222
Official URL https://doi.org/10.2196/38740
Depositing User Prof. Dr. Tobias Kowatsch
Date Deposited 10 Oct 2022 18:33
Last Modified 10 Oct 2022 18:33
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/267555

Download

[img] Text
Dhinagaran et al 2022 DISCOVER.pdf

Download (924kB)

Citation

Dhinagaran, Dhakshenya Ardhithy; Martinengo, Laura; Ho, Moon-Ho Ringo; Joty, Shafiq; Kowatsch, Tobias; Atun, Rifat & Tudor Car, Lorainne (2022) Designing, Developing, Evaluating, and Implementing a Smartphone-Delivered, Rule-Based Conversational Agent (DISCOVER): Development of a Conceptual Framework. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 10 (10). e38740. ISSN 2291-5222

Statistics

https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/267555
Edit item Edit item
Feedback?