Something is bothering you? Tell Woebot.
Instead, she says, the bot offers “digital therapies.” And Woebot’s terms of service call it a “pure self-help” program that is not intended for emergencies. In fact, in the event of a severe seizure, Woebot says it’s programmed to recognize suicidal language and prompt users to seek out a human alternative.
That way, Woebot doesn’t go into real therapy – like many mental health apps, the current, free version of Woebot doesn’t come under strict Food and Drug Administration oversight because it falls under the category ““general well-being” product, which only receives advice from the FDA.
But Woebot longs for something more. With $ 22 million in venture capital in hand, Woebot seeks FDA clearance to develop his algorithm to help treat two psychiatric diagnoses, postpartum depression and adolescent depression, then sell the program to the systems. health.
And it’s here that Woebot hopes to make money, using his practical advantage over any human therapist: the ladder.
While other virtual therapy companies, like BetterHelp or Talkspace, must continue to recruit therapists to join their platforms, AI applications can recruit new users without paying for additional work. And while therapists can vary in their skills and approach, a robot is cohesive and doesn’t get stressed out in consecutive sessions.
“The assumption is always that, because it’s digital, it will always be limited,” said Dr. Darcy of Woebot. “There are actually opportunities created by the technology itself that are really difficult to realize under traditional treatment.”
One of the perks of an artificial therapist – or, as Dr. Darcy calls it, a “relationship agent” – is 24-hour access. Very few human therapists answer their phones during a panic attack. at 2 a.m., as Dr Darcy pointed out. “I think people have probably underestimated the power of being able to engage in a therapeutic technique when you need it,” she said.