News Society, 24/05/2020

Kharkivites Develop Application to Fight Depression

Kharkiv residents developed the Elomia chatbot program, which works based on artificial intelligence and was programmed by a team of professional psychologists.

It was designed by students of National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute,” Taras Pohrebniak and Mykhaylo Markevych.

Elomia is an artificial intelligence chatbot that helps people suffering from anxiety and depression. It listens, understands and uses cognitive-behavioral therapy to provide psychological support at any time.

“Although it is impossible to cure depression on the Internet, our bot makes it more tolerant for people who are in self-isolation. At the beginning of May, we launched it on the UK market and have already got good results: in seven days the bot offered 924 consultations. For comparison, a human psychologist would need about 150 days to do the same work,” the developers note.

During seven months of teamwork on the project, the young researchers have already got to Startup School, as well as participated in acceleration programs in “YEP!” and CIG, where they brought to the project a full-fledged team of 20 psychologists who are engaged in the programming of artificial intelligence.

According to the chatbot’s developers, the survey that was conducted after launching the project shows that about 91 percent of people who benefited from the application reported their mood lightened up after the first use of the bot, and 32 percent of respondents admitted that they would be very upset if Elomia ceased to exist.

Reference: CIG R&D LAB informs on its Facebook page that according to the World Health Organization, more than 500 million people are battling depression. Now, when they have lost the opportunity to visit their psychologists due to quarantine, and the number of social contacts has decreased, their suffering has only intensified. This is evidenced by the number of the call to the psychological assistance hotline: in April, the volume of calls increased by 892 percent. Elomia startup aims to prevent sad scenarios, such as suicide.

Text: Natalia Ivanova

Photo: CIG R&D LAB Facebook page