Virtual psychology

virtual psychology

IT Doctor

Artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and data management are transforming healthcare.

Meet Amy – an artificial intelligence or AI. It’s also a psychologist. It can analyse speech, language and emotions to suggest treatment strategies for mental health problems.

This virtual psychology bot was created with the help of researchers from the University of Queensland, RMIT and the University of Melbourne by the Psychology Network, a group of practitioners specialising in anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. Professor Jo Diederich is a clinical psychologist with two PhDs – in computer science and computer linguistics – and founder and director of the Psychology Network. “We’re looking at a future where the frontline service in clinical psychology is done by machines,” he says.

Available 24/7, machines can store enormous amounts of clinical, ethical and legal knowledge. Virtual psychology bot Amy can also be interfaced with apps like the Mental State Tracker, which analyses speech and language to identify signs of depression and mood disorders.

Beyond virtual psychology

Other AI developments include work Google’s DeepMind is doing with the British National Health Service and Moorfields Eye Hospital in London to help prevent blindness by enabling early diagnosis using machine learning.

Companies like IBM and Microsoft are also applying AI to healthcare, from patient health management to robotics. Dr Anjali Jaiprakash, from Queensland University of Technology, received the Advance Queensland Research Fellowship for her project developing a robotic aid for surgery. “Gone are the days when you only learn about science, medicine or computer science. Now all these fields are integrated and interdisciplinary,” she says.

– Sue Min Liu

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CAREERS

App developer, medical device engineer, biomedical researcher, medical robotics engineer, bioinformatician, biostatician, health economist + more!

DIPLOMA of…

Health Sciences, Griffith College, Brisbane and Gold Coast

BACHELOR of…

Information Technology/Medical Science, Unversity of Sydney

Science/Information Technology, QUT

Information Technology (Hons) (Digital Health Systems), Flinders University

Engineering (Hons), University of Canterbury

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Author: intern2