Intelligent virtual assistant for promoting behaviour change in older people with T2D

João Balsa*, Pedro Neves, Isa Félix, Mara Pereira Guerreiro, Pedro Alves, Maria Beatriz Carmo, Diogo Marques, António Dias, Adriana Henriques, Ana Paula Cláudio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We present a version of an application prototype developed in the context of the VASelfCare project. This application works as an intelligent anthropomorphic virtual relational agent that has the role of assisting older people with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2D) in medication adherence and lifestyle changes. In this paper, we focus on the development of the dialogue component of the system and in what we consider one of the main original contributions: the incorporation, in the way the dialogue flows, of Behaviour Change Techniques (BCTs), identified in the context of the Behaviour Change Wheel framework. We also describe the general architecture of the system, including the graphical component. Tests on the prototype pre-requisites were conducted with health professionals and older adults with T2D within five primary care units of the Portuguese National Health Service. Overall, these tests yielded encouraging data and endorsed our approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProgress in Artificial Intelligence - 19th EPIA Conference on Artificial Intelligence, EPIA 2019, Proceedings
EditorsPaulo Moura Oliveira, Paulo Novais, Luís Paulo Reis
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9783030302405
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event19th EPIA Conference on Artificial Intelligence, EPIA 2019 - Vila Real, Portugal
Duration: 3 Sept 20196 Sept 2019

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11804 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference19th EPIA Conference on Artificial Intelligence, EPIA 2019
CityVila Real


  • Behaviour change
  • Diabetes
  • Intelligent virtual assistants
  • mHealth applications
  • Relational agents


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