BACHcode launches AI-enabled nutritionist

January 02, 2018 13:18
BACHcode, a Hong Kong-based startup founded by Amice Wong, is launching an AI-enabled health coach that designs and implements personalized health strategies for users. Photo: HKEJ / BACHcode

BACHcode, a Hong Kong-based startup that seeks to develop artificial intelligence systems for human health improvement, is launching an AI-enabled health coach that designs and implements personalized health strategies for users.

Called "ReHealthier", the conversational app will make use of user-generated data and health behavioral science to produce insights for health strategies. It learns about the user's health condition, dietary habits and daily activity patterns through interaction with the user via an AI chatbot program.

“AI chatbot doesn’t provide the subjective judgement; it would not blame the lazy users. That’s why people are able to open up,” said Amice Wong, founder of BACHcode.

ReHealthier collects the day-by-day information to analyze the bio-psycho-social dimensions of the user and adjust the health improvement strategies.

Wong wants the user-chatbot interaction experience to be funny and positive, using one of the app’s features, a tool tracking user’s water intake, as an example. Once the user achieves the target, the chatbot would send an emoji to show its appreciation.

And the reply that the user chooses – “You are welcome” or “Thanks! I am also helping myself” –would be collected by the chatbot as a hint to analyze the user’s motivation for the scheme.

However, Wong admits that it is challenging to help users disclose more about themselves to an inanimate chatbot.

“Asking too many questions bluntly can make users feel uneasy, prompting them to delete the app,” Wong said, adding that Hongkongers are increasingly aware of privacy considerations.

“We have a scoring system for ReHealthier,” said Wong. “If the user’s healthy attitude does not reach the target level, our AI ‘health coach’ will show up, starting a conversation with the user.”

Asked whether the AI health coach could replace nutritionists, Wong believes that the chatbot can in fact help deliver support to them, extending their capabilities of service.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Jan 2

Translation by Ben Ng

[Chinese version 中文版]

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