(Image credit- NPR)
An AI voice assistant software may be able to help people who are experiencing mild depression and anxiety, according to a recent study headed by researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and conducted in partnership with Washington University and Pennsylvania State University.
The study examined how well Lumen’s AI voice assistant performed problem-solving therapy over the course of eight sessions.
What Is Lumen?
In 2020, Dr. Jun Ma, the Beth and George Vitoux Professor of Medicine at UIC oversaw the creation of Lumen. The Amazon Alexa application’s Lumen skill offers evidence-based problem-solving therapy.
With the help of this therapy, patients can cultivate a positive outlook and learn how to deal with common issues that lead to emotional suffering.
An evaluation of Lumen’s effects on depression and anxiety symptoms, as well as brain activity associated with problem-solving therapy, was done in a pilot trial including 63 patients.
Two-thirds of the individuals underwent eight sessions of Lumen-based problem-solving therapy on an iPad given by the study, while the other third served as the control group and received no treatment.
In comparison to the control group, the Lumen group showed lower sadness, anxiety, and psychological distress levels after the intervention.
The Lumen group also showed enhanced problem-solving abilities, which were linked to increased activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a part of the brain related to cognitive control.
The link between neurological and behavioral effects shown by these findings highlights the need for more research into the intervention.
Dr. Ajilore emphasized the need of comprehending the underlying mechanics and figuring out who will profit from this kind of treatment the most.
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Results from the study were also notably favorable for women and underrepresented groups. The researchers claim to have shown beneficial impacts in these populations after including these groups in the development and testing of Lumen.