A mental health chatbot used on Facebook Messenger has now launched on Apple’s App Store.
Woebot claims it is the only mental health chatbot that is clinically shown to reduce symptoms of mood-based disorders.
Since launching in 2017, Woebot has been used by people worldwide as a free and accessible tool to receive quality mental health care.
Now it is also available as a standalone app.
“Designing a mobile app was a natural next step to make Woebot more accessible,” said Woebot CEO and founder Dr. Alison Darcy.
“We’re excited to see how Woebot is changing the conversation around mental health care – and providing high quality psychological tools for those who may have difficulty accessing them.
“With users from over 130 countries around the world, we’re already seeing the incredible impact Woebot has on people’s lives and are humbled by the positive feedback we’ve received.
“Our hope is that the app will continue to encourage people to proactively take care of their mental health.”
Woebot was created to break down the barriers associated with receiving mental health services. Drawing on the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy, the chatbot engages users through friendly, thoughtful conversations and equips them with techniques to address challenging life events.
Woebot also has the ability to personalise conversations and track fluctuations in one’s mood over time.
The new app expands on existing capabilities and offers new features. With animation linked to natural language processing , the chatbot can respond in conversations with animated reactions, giving tailored responses to those who are dealing with specific mental-health issues such as grief, addiction, or self-destructive habits.
Woebot will also offer mindful meditation and other strategies adapted from dialectical behavioural therapy, empowering users with specialised tools to manage everyday stressors.
The app will continue to serve as a platform to further develop the chatbot’s AI and empathic response capabilities, pioneering a new model for human-robot interaction in digital healthcare.
The company plans to release a version of the app for Android in spring 2018.