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J Health Commun. 2010;15 Suppl 2:197-210. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2010.499991.

Usability of conversational agents by patients with inadequate health literacy: evidence from two clinical trials.

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Northeastern University College of Computer and Information Science, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Embodied Conversational Agents (ECA) are computer-animated characters that simulate face-to-face conversation with patients. These agents can be programmed with best practices in human-human health communication and used for automated health education and behavior change counseling interventions. Evidence is presented from two ongoing clinical trials demonstrating that patients at different levels of health literacy find these agents acceptable and easy to use for automated health communication interventions. Innovative computer interface systems can be used to ensure that inadequate health literacy not serve as a barrier to interventions using health information technology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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