Research Shows Improved Wellbeing in Adolescents Using AI-Powered Personal Companion Tools longitudinal and retrospective studies are accepted for publication in the Journal of Medical Internet Research for peer review

NEW YORK--(), the market leader in AI-based technology for mental health and well-being care to adolescents, has announced that two of its research papers have been accepted for publication by The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR). The first study focuses on the well-being of adolescents while using an AI-powered acceptance commitment therapy tool (ACT), while the other tests the suitability of AI-driven intervention delivered directly through texting apps.

The submission of Kai’s studies brings additional focus on the growing need for innovative approaches to support mental health and well-being care for adolescents. According to the CDC, between 2009 and 2021, the share of American high school students who said they feel “persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness” jumped from 26 percent to 44 percent. Emergency room visits for self-harm rose to an all-time high of 88 percent for adolescents ages, 10 to 19. Girls consistently show a greater risk of experiencing reduced levels of well-being than boys and their rate of emergency room visits due to self-inflicted harm is 50 percent greater. The other pandemic ravaging the globe is the worsening mental health condition of so many young people.

Recent studies reveal that almost 50 percent of 11-year-olds in the US have a mobile phone, increasing to 85 percent among 14-year-olds. US adolescents aged 13 to 18 engage with their mobile phones for more than three hours every day. This makes the device a highly accessible and easy-to-use tool for presenting a mental health intervention.

‘Adolescents' well-being while using a mobile AI-powered acceptance commitment therapy tool: evidence from a longitudinal study’ examined how smartphones and applications can provide a promising avenue for delivering interventions with ACT for adolescents.

  • The study included 10,387 adolescents from the US between 14-18 years old, and the intervention was delivered through the use of Kai on smartphones.
  • The study tracked well-being by monitoring how participants engaged and interacted with Kai over four months.
  • The results indicated that, on average, adolescents' well-being increased over time according to the 5-item World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5) questionnaire, the gold standard in well-being assessment sources.

‘Improving well-being with mobile AI-powered Acceptance Commitment Therapy tool: Pragmatic Retrospective Study,’ tested the suitability of AI-driven interventions delivered through popular texting apps to deliver coaching and psychological interventions on smartphones.

  • The study used a pragmatic retrospective analysis of 2909 users who used on messaging apps that included iMessage, WhatsApp, Discord, and Telegram.
  • The users' well-being levels were tracked using The WHO-5 questionnaire throughout the engagement with the service.
  • The study illustrated how mobile intervention introduces a new variety of possibilities, including the provision for unlimited interactions and psychological interventions.
  • Results showed the efficiency of such a platform by increasing the treatment intensity and integrating therapeutic strategies into daily life.

“Mood and anxiety disorders are among the leading causes of disability globally. These have become so prevalent that it was recently estimated that up to 50 percent of the world's population are suffering from symptoms of psychological distress. Moreover, such symptoms reverberate throughout the entire society. For example, it is estimated that lost productivity due to anxiety and depression costs the global economy $1 trillion dollars each year,” said Alex Frenkel, CEO, and Co-Founder of Kai.

“These bodies of research highlight how using an innovative platform and treatment protocol that uses mobile messaging apps to deploy ACT-based treatment can improve people's emotional well-being. And while the studies reinforce the potential of Kai as an enabler to do this, they also hint at the possibilities still left to discover,”

The recent administration has outlined a proposal to invest $700 million to bring providers into behavioral health. It goes further to use relief funds of the $160 billion invested by the American Rescue Plan in the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) to address the mental health needs of students and invest $50 million into pilot models that embed and co-locate mental health services into non-traditional settings.

The severity of the mental health crises has reached an all time high. Technologists and entrepreneurs alike must utilize the advancements in technology to work to develop complementary cost-effective and engaging mental health interventions to help combat against traditional health care costs and mental health access.

“Finding ways to treat efficiently, prevent mental health problems, and increase wellbeing, should be considered a priority for policymakers, health care providers, and entrepreneurs,” said Dana Vertsverger, Head of Research, Kai. “The United States finds itself facing an unprecedented mental health crisis. One in three high school students and half of the female students reported persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, an increase of 44.2 percent since 2009. Even more disturbing is that emergency department visits for attempted suicide have risen by 51 percent among adolescent girls. These numbers are what get our team to the office each day. To continue our research and development of a tool that has huge potential to help young people in a way that has been unattainable previously. Mental health 3.0 has the power to change these numbers for good.”

Kai is an AI-powered, personal companion designed to promote wellbeing and mental health by initiating daily conversations and presenting simple short exercises to users. Kai integrates seamlessly with all top messaging apps, including; Apple Messages, WhatsApp, Discord, and Telegram. It is free, accessible, and easy to use, reaching adolescents who would otherwise not seek support. Kai is available 24/7 and is backed by a team of human validation experts to ensure the AI lives up to the users' needs.

About Kai

Kai is an AI-powered, personal guide and companion designed to help teenagers lead happier, more fulfilling lives by providing wellness tools, techniques, and exercises that help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness, and a range of other issues. Created by an expert team of psychologists, engineers and content creators, the relationship with Kai develops as users learn scientifically proven tools and techniques according to the Acceptance Commitment Therapy models (ACT) to become more mindful and identify one's true values and life goals. Kai helps users become more self-aware and helps them learn how to overcome their current challenges to thrive and reach their full potential.

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Sarah Shkargi,