Analysis of user requirements with use of artificial intelligence in healthcare services for adolescents
"I have no doubts that the work being done is both important and necessary for an eve-changing industry"
As an IT- student, I have a natural love for technology and its myriad of uses in modern society. Its emergence offers a whole slew of opportunities in an age where increasingly affordable computers offer far more powerful solutions, both in private- and public sectors. A relatively fresh field which emerged in the wake of technological innovations is AI (artificial intelligence). A new wave of research is underway in this field, precisely because contemporaries understand the incredible possibilities which exist through innovation in AI. Computer programs powered by powerful AI algorithms are now capable of undertaking tasks which up until now have been reserved for human creativity, and the examples are many.
Computers can now solve problems with factory work, finance and trade industries, but it doesn’t stop there. Computers with machine learning capabilities are now making their mark on the health sector. A study conducted at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies in USA show that veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress) in many cases display a greater degree of willingness to divulge their symptoms in interviews conducted by an artificial model. In some cases, the effect is comparable, or even greater when a virtual model is used. In other words, there are clearly benefits in developing solutions powered by AI.
UiA has now joined the wave of research around artificial intelligence in the health sector. Together with a host of actors in an interdisciplinary team at the faculty for Health- and Sports sciences, I’m studying the possibility of employing AI in mental health services for adolescents. The initial goal is to develop a low-threshold solution in the form of a chat-application powered by AI. The goal of my work is to analyze user requirements at the onset of development of such a service. In practice, this means talking to users, and collecting data using qualitative methods. We know quite well that the user must be at the center at development of mental health services, and this becomes particularly important when we involve adolescents. This is also plain from an IT perspective, where modern design principles dictate that user requirement are elevated as a priority.
The questions I want answers to are many: How do young people feel about a chat-service which employs artificial intelligence? Would they use such a service? What needs does a service like that need to satisfy? In a broader context, it also becomes relevant to look at ethical concerns when developing such a service, as well as whether contemporary technological solutions offer space for these types of services.
At the time of writing, I’m completing my preparations ahead of going out to the users, and I am naturally looking forward to the finds we inevitably will do through this research. My goal is to aid the research which is currently being exercised around an incredibly exciting and relevant topic, and I have no doubts that the work being done is both important and necessary for an ever-changing industry.