Healthcare Providers Practice Brief Motivational Intervention with an AI-Driven Virtual Client

SIMmersion developed a virtual client with an Alcohol Use Disorder enabling clinicians to practice and build Brief Motivational Intervention skills to better support their real clients 

COLUMBIA, Md., Nov. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Gabe Turner lives below the poverty line, and in his mom’s house with his siblings. He normally finds part-time work in construction. However, there are no benefits and when he doesn’t work, he doesn’t get paid. Following a knee injury, Gabe is out of work for a few weeks. The lack of income motivates him to be seen at a free clinic to get pain medication so he can return to work. His answers on the intake questionnaire lead the doctor to determine that he is in the “at-risk” range for alcohol consumption. As a result, the doctor requires him to see a clinician before prescribing any medications. Gabe needs to cut back on his drinking., How can he be helped?

While Gabe is a fictional character, he is representative of real clients. He looks and behaves like a real person. Gabe is driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and fuzzy logic, and was designed to help clinicians practice and build Brief Motivational Intervention skills.

What is Brief Motivational Intervention?

Brief Motivational Intervention is an important tool that clinicians use to treat clients with alcohol use disorder. It leverages the spirit of Motivational Interviewing to motivate change. and is used in a healthcare setting when a relatively short intervention is required. Specifically, the intervention focuses on understanding motivations. Learning to apply the intervention in a clinical setting is challenging. Gabe provides the practice opportunities needed to learn, and utilize, this treatment technique.

A Clinical Session with Gabe

A simulated clinical session with Gabe was designed to replicate a real client session. As rapport is built with him, he will respond by talking about reasons why he wants to continue drinking. When a user properly applies the intervention techniques, Gabe will realize he needs to make changes. Users can have as many sessions with Gabe as needed to build both their confidence and a skill level with using the intervention. With each new simulated session, most of Gabe’s responses to user statements will be different than the previous ones, providing a new experience each time.

The Technology Behind Gabe

During a conversation with Gabe, users select from a rich set of prompts. Each selected prompt typically has 7 or more available responses. Gabe calculates probabilities for each response and uses them to randomly choose one. The calculations are based on one of his randomly selected personalities and the relationship the user has developed with him. The relationship between the user and Gabe will evolve in a way that depends on what the user says.

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Media Contact:
Dale Olsen