Update: Wysa was noted for its ethical standards by researchers at Oxford Neuroscience, Ethics and Society Young People’s Advisory Group, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Oxford and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics & Humanities, University of Oxford in their balanced research articlea with the support and funding from the Wellcome Trust.
On Privacy & Confidentiality, the authors quote:
"The most important difference that we identified is that Wysa is only available as an app, which gives users the possibility to chat anonymously".
"Wysa offered privacy information during our first conversation. For example, Wysa mentioned it would ‘not share anything we discuss with anyone else."
On Safety, the authors note:
"It is worth noting that Wysa offers the option of getting support in a more traditional sense in conjunction with or as an alternative to the automated service. Its users can receive support from real-life mental health professional (‘Wysa Coach’) for a fee. This can prove particularly helpful in contexts where there is a lack of trained mental health professionals."
a Kretzschmar, K., Tyroll, H., Pavarini, G., Manzini, A., & Singh, I. (2019). Can Your Phone Be Your Therapist? Young People’s Ethical Perspectives on the Use of Fully Automated Conversational Agents (Chatbots) in Mental Health Support. Biomedical Informatics Insights.
Update: Leading Global Clinical Safety Standard
We're proud to announce that Wysa now meets the
NHS UK's DCB 0129 Standard of Clinical Safety.
Prepared by the NHS Digital Clinical Safety team, DCB 0129 is designed to help manufacturers of Health IT software evidence the clinical safety of their products.
Case Study: Wysa at NHS, UK
North East London NHS Foundation Trust began to look at the use of digital technology as an early support option two years ago and for the past year WYSA has been number one on their top five apps to try list.
Read more on how NELFT uses Wysa for young adult's mental health.
We're very committed to research, and see how Wysa can work for different user groups and conditions.
We need help. We're looking for partnerships with research and academic institutions around the world to help us create studies to extend Wysa's reach and impact.
Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!
Read about Wysa's work in efficacy below..
Wysa Effectiveness and Engagement Studies
We continuously evaluate Wysa's performance and continue to test its effectiveness, usability, and engagement through our research collaborations.
Along with external researchers, we conducted a real-world mixed methods study on the effectiveness and engagement of Wysa on anonymous global users.
Key findings include:
a High users of Wysa: Those who engaged with Wysa on two screening days (separated by 14 or more days) as well as at least once in-between those days (n= 108).
b Low users of Wysa: Those who only engaged with Wysa only on the two screening days but never engaged in-between (n= 27).
Read the peer-reviewed study published in the open access journal JMIR mHealth & uHealth1.
A within-group analysis showed that users who engaged more with Wysa showed a higher average reduction in depression symptoms (reduction of 31% in pre- scores) as compared with those who engaged less with Wysa (reduction of 18% in pre- scores).
A between-group analysis revealed that the average impact or improvement (pre- minus post- depression scores) among the high-user group was significantly higher (mean 5.84 [SD 6.66]) compared with the low user group (mean 3.52 [SD 6.15]); with a Mann-Whitney P=.03 and with a moderate effect size of 0.63.
1 Inkster, B; Sarda, S; Subramanian, V (2018). "An Empathy-Driven, Conversational Artificial Intelligence Agent (Wysa) for Digital Mental Well-Being: Real-World Data Evaluation Mixed-Methods Study". JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 6 (11): e12106. PMID:30470676.