Aroha chatbot

A chatbot for young people (13–24 years old) to help them manage their worries during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aroha By Habits, University of Auckland
Features
  • Uses Facebook Messenger 
  • Activities to help with the user's mental health 
  • Aimed at adolescents and young adults (13–24 years)

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Clinical review 

User reviews 

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Security and privacy Does the app:
  • collect medical information? Yes
  • require a login? Yes
  • have password protection? Yes
  • have a privacy policy? Unclear, but approved by the Auckland Ethics Committee
  • require internet access? Yes
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Cost Free

What does the chatbot do?

Aroha is a chatbot designed to help young people cope with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic by providing positive ways of coping. To appeal to a younger audience (13–24 years), the chatbot works on Facebook Messenger.

To set up an account, you can use Habits portal, a secure online portal. Thereafter, you will get link to Facebook that will connect you with Aroha chatbot. After a few days of using it, Aroha will send you a link to give them feedback. 

PROS CONS 

✔ The main menu covers the following: COVID-19 resources, check your hauora (mental health questionnaire), how are you going now? and activities.

✔ The activities menu covers the following: calming activities, staying connected, spirituality, practising gratitude, distracting yourself, getting active, getting expert help and general tips. The general tips section is a sub-menu covering alcohol & drugs, sleep, self-care and having a routine. The self-care section has guided audio mindfulness recordings.

✔ Sometimes recognised when the reviewer was in danger.

✔ Strong Māori and te reo focus.

✔ The user can respond with preset emojis or text.

✘ Stated to be still in development.

✘ Access is through a research study only.

✘ Facebook Messenger is required.

✘ The bot didn't remember the reviewer on their second session (eg, it asked for their name again).

✘ No videos.

✘ The pure chat-based system makes navigation through the programme difficult without a universally accessible menu or a way to quickly quit out of activities and menus.

✘ Only some of the 10 audio recordings would load.

Review details

Date of review: April 2020 (accessed 27/4/2020)
Platform reviewed: Web-based browser

Disclaimer: Health Navigator’s app library is a free consumer service to help you decide whether a health app would be suitable for you. Our review process is independent. We have no relationship with the app developers or companies and no responsibility for the service they provide. This means that if you have an issue with one of the apps we have reviewed, you will need to contact the app developer or company directly.

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Credits: Health Navigator Editorial Team.