Combating Suicide and Mental Health challenges in the Armed Services with a hybrid-AI-enabled ‘empathetic chat-bot

There is a requirement and the potential for AI technologies to help the military and healthcare systems across the world digitally consult with patients and provide clinical insights, triage, and better inform a Mental Health diagnosis. This could provide a new source of intelligence to inform safeguarding actions, enable early flagging of suicidal patients, and identify what stage on the pathway to suicide they are.

Suicide is a tragic outcome of fully deteriorated Mental Health for the individual and their loved ones. It is also a symptom of one of the world’s most pressing and complex humanitarian challenges in society today. It continues to be a large and growing public health issue. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention state that in the United States…

  • Suicide rates increased by 33% between 1999 and 2019
  • Suicide was responsible for 47,500 deaths in 2019
  • 12 million American adults seriously thought about suicide
  • 3.5 million adults planned a suicide attempt
  • 1.4 million people attempted suicide
  • This tragedy costs the US $70 billion per year, in lifetime medical and work-loss costs alone

This issue is more acute in the military where PTSD impacts more significantly on service personnel and their families.

Boston University estimates 30,177 Global War on Terror veterans have died by suicide, compared to 7,057 who have died while deployed in support of the Global War on Terror.

Efforts by healthcare providers to identify patients at risk face significant hurdles, particularly the unwillingness of affected individuals to disclose mental health issues fearing loss of autonomy, over reaction, and stigma.

Between 50% and 66% of all suicides (depending on cohort) are unknown to already overburdened mental health services. Individuals frequently do not take the first step on the patient pathway to solving their Mental Health challenges which is simply “Admission”. Tragically there is no subsequent Investigation, Diagnosis, Treatment, or Discharge.

The global stresses and strains and the subsequent consequences of Covid19 are recognised traumas that will fuel a further increase in mental health issues and suicide. This problem is only getting worse.

The objective being to get a complete picture of the patient’s experience of their mental health – “their story, in their words.” 

This patient story will contain rich and relevant narrative data that once digitally analysed by our psychometric models, in particular the ‘Suicide Transition’, will reveal clinical insights with optimum sensitivity and specificity. Clinical feedback will give Machine Learning known outcome data that will enable continuous improvement of system algorithms.

Insights will be presented in an intuitive way relevant to the various user requirements and personas. The app will feedback suggestions, suggest and make appointments to the patient. EmBot will interface with multiple clinical and telehealth applications, supporting digital transformation of healthcare services.

The EmBot app will provide a more informed and effective tool for individuals to monitor and manage their own mental health, as well as provide early-warning indicators to clinicians helping them optimise limited resources to save the lives of those most at-risk.

Contact Akumen to find out more.

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