A chatbot for perinatal women and partners' obstetric and mental health care: Development and usability evaluation study (Preprint)
JMIR Formative Research
To motivate people to adopt medical chatbots, the establishment of a specialized medical knowledge database that fits their personal interests is of great importance in developing a chatbot for perinatal care, particularly with the help of health professionals. The objectives of this study are to develop and evaluate a user-friendly question-and-answer (Q&A) knowledge database-based chatbot (Dr. Joy) for perinatal women's and their partners' obstetric and mental health care by applying a
... ning technique and implementing contextual usability testing (UT), respectively, thus determining whether this medical chatbot built on mobile instant messenger (KakaoTalk) can provide its male and female users with good user experience. Two men aged 38 and 40 years and 13 women aged 27 to 43 years in pregnancy preparation or different pregnancy stages were enrolled. All participants completed the 7-day-long UT, during which they were given the daily tasks of asking Dr. Joy at least 3 questions at any time and place and then giving the chatbot either positive or negative feedback with emoji, using at least one feature of the chatbot, and finally, sending a facilitator all screenshots for the history of the day's use via KakaoTalk before midnight. One day after the UT completion, all participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire on the evaluation of usability, perceived benefits and risks, intention to seek and share health information on the chatbot, and strengths and weaknesses of its use, as well as demographic characteristics. Despite the relatively higher score of ease of learning (EOL), the results of the Spearman correlation indicated that EOL was not significantly associated with usefulness (ρ=0.26; P=.36), ease of use (ρ=0.19; P=.51), satisfaction (ρ=0.21; P=.46), or total usability scores (ρ=0.32; P=.24). Unlike EOL, all 3 subfactors and the total usability had significant positive associations with each other (all ρ>0.80; P<.001). Furthermore, perceived risks exhibited no significant negative associations with perceived benefits (ρ=-0.29; P=.30) or intention to seek (SEE; ρ=-0.28; P=.32) or share (SHA; ρ=-0.24; P=.40) health information on the chatbot via KakaoTalk, whereas perceived benefits exhibited significant positive associations with both SEE and SHA. Perceived benefits were more strongly associated with SEE (ρ=0.94; P<.001) than with SHA (ρ=0.70; P=.004). This study provides the potential for the uptake of this newly developed Q&A knowledge database-based KakaoTalk chatbot for obstetric and mental health care. As Dr. Joy had quality contents with both utilitarian and hedonic value, its male and female users could be encouraged to use medical chatbots in a convenient, easy-to-use, and enjoyable manner. To boost their continued usage intention for Dr. Joy, its Q&A sets need to be periodically updated to satisfy user intent by monitoring both male and female user utterances.