X2 developed an Artificial Intelligence Chatbot called TessTM, which provides emotional support by having automated chat conversations and check-ins with people, through text messaging, or HIPAA and GDPR compliant instant messaging apps. These chat conversations simply start with "How are you?" and continue in a similar way as a coach or psychologist would in order to deliver integrative support. The conversations aim to: provide mental health coping mechanisms, foster emotional wellbeing and resilience, provide psychoeducation, and offer leadership coaching. Northwestern University found in a Randomized Controlled Trial that Tess reduces depression by 13% and anxiety by 18%. Health Care Gaps: many people don’t have access to timely, affordable, quality mental health care services when they need it, and for many, lack of sufficient resources prohibit access to quality care. In the United States, many mental health care professionals have limited capacity in treating patients, and insurance coverage limitations may prevent people from accessing additional services due to cost. Even if resources are available, they are often hard to access and thus in-accessible, and thus engagement is low.

Tess bridges the gaps in mental health care using an employee-centric approach. She is just a text message away, instantly available on a 24/7 basis, when and where the mental health care provider isn’t available. Tess monitors the employee and learns their emotional patterns during conversations, If a crisis is detected, then an alert is sent to a crisis counselor who is able to take over the conversation in real time. Completely autonomously, Tess delivers emotional support, psycho-education, and mental health coping techniques that are personalized for each employee. Access to Tess is based on employees’ needs, 24/7, on-demand, and at only a fraction of the cost of regular therapy sessions or e-health therapy sessions. The ability to scale Tess across large populations further reduces costs for employers, EAP's, payers, and the users themselves. X2s novel algorithm and extensive emotion ontology allow Tess to deliver integrative support. Unlike current solutions, which focus on sentiment or a limited set of generic emotion categories, X2 has developed highly granular emotion ontology, built using 9 years of continued proprietary research. By personalizing this technology for each user, this allows Tess to learn what helps the employee best. Experts have scripted Tess to respond to user queries in accordance with different psychological modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Mindfulness Based Therapy, Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), and many more.

Over time, Tess learns what the employee loves, and why; what scares them, what calms them down, and even what to say to the employee that will best help them cope when they are not feeling happy or productive, forming an emotional bond. Being able to create and maintain an emotional bond is key; it lowers friction and increases sustained engagement. This emotional investment is a much more attracting force than any financial investment. Another motivation to talk with Tess is to set goals, and work on leadership development skills.

ROI for Brokers, EAP’s, self-funded health plans, and employers: depression alone was found to cost US employers an average of $812 in lost revenue employee per year (Greenberg et al. 2014). Tess was found to reduce depression on average by 13% (Fullmer et al. 2018). This results in $106 of value created per year, at a cost of less than $1 per employee per month.

Besides, Tess also offers support for: stress, anxiety, conflict-situations, turnover, and burnout:

+ Available 24/7 anonymously via text messaging

+ Analytics through screening for depression / burnout

+ Increase engagement of existing resources and programs

+ Reduce symptoms of anxiety (-18%), and depression (-13%)

Picture above: an example of a completely automated text message conversation between Tess (the AI Chatbot) and Leslie, who uses her phone to chat about her stress at work.

Posted on
May 14, 2019
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