The Institute of Applied Psychology, Jagiellonian University built a cognitive health coach app to expand the scope of its research, understand why people behave the way they do and find new ways of motivating them to build healthy habits. Named Jane.ai, the cognitive app is designed to help users commit to small, achievable goals and tries to identify any obstacles that stand in their way. Using natural language processing (NLP) in Polish and English, the app converses with users twice a day. It sends personalized reminders and suggestions for staying active that take into account the local weather and the user’s emotional state. The solution is integrated with Twitter for messaging and pulls fitness-tracking data from the Google Fit app to monitor the number of steps a user takes. Trained by psychologists to interact in empathetic ways, Jane.ai looks for key variables such as weather, mood, motivation and illness to help researchers interpret and segment human behavior.
By collaborating with the IBM Laboratory in Krakow, the Institute of Applied Psychology, Jagiellonian University is changing the way longitudinal research studies are conducted and generating new kinds of observations about human behavior. Tapping into mobile, social and cognitive computing technology, researchers can broaden the scope of their projects by incorporating more participants over longer periods of time. They are also gaining richer insights into human behavior with a continuous stream of user data related to physical activity, mood and motivation. As one of the first academic institutions to explore these new research possibilities, the Institute of Applied Psychology is strengthening its reputation and credibility in the field, which helps attract top students, faculty and funding.
The institute developed a cognitive health coach app to break new ground in academic research, experimenting with new ways to conduct longitudinal studies and hoping to uncover fresh insights about human behavior. Using NLP, the app can converse with users in an intelligent and personalized way, learning what motivates them to engage in physical activity and helping them build healthy habits.
When it comes to health behavior modification, traditional studies and programs are limited in size and scope. Psychologists typically meet with subjects periodically in face-to-face meetings but lack influence in their day-to-day lives. Now, by training a cognitive app to act as a psychologist and coach, the academic institute captures a constant stream of participant data and can experiment with different ways of persuading subjects to make healthy choices as part of their daily routines.
The cognitive solution collects structured data from Google Fit sensors three times daily, structured location-based GPS data from the user’s mobile phone, unstructured user input from conversations with Jane.ai, and local weather data.