Pocket-Sized Support for New Parents

New chatbot puts trusted health intel at new mothers’ fingertips.
Descriptive image for Pocket-Sized Support for New Parents

Baby’s first bath, a 3 a.m. fever and technicolor spit-up can elicit a range of emotions from first-time mothers—and just as many questions.

An AI-based chatbot in development by University of Maryland researchers is working to take some of the confusion and uncertainty out of parenting, particularly for women of color. Called “Rosie," the phone-based bot was developed with support from a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities. The system provides accurate, 24-hour health and wellness information for questions like medication dosages, breastfeeding, signs of postpartum depression, sleep and major milestones to address higher rates of infant and maternal mortality, anxiety and depression among women of color. A Spanish-language version is currently in development.

“There are so many questions that you ask (as a new mom),” said epidemiology and biostatistics Associate Professor Quynh Nguyen. “We wanted to have health information be accessible to everyone.”

In the latest installment of “Enterprise: University of Maryland Research Stories,” Nguyen, behavioral and community health Associate Professor Elizabeth Aparicio. In addition, computer science Associate Professor Jordan Boyd-Graber, and computer science Ph.D. student Neha Srikanth—who are leading the computational component of a multidisciplinary project—share the inspiration for Rosie, early responses from clinical trials and their insights on supporting mothers.

Story by Maryland Today. View the article and video HERE

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