Automating the onboarding of mental health patients with a privacy-first, HIPAA-BAA compliant AI assistant

How Talkspace uses Rasa to build an AI assistant to automate the client intake process, bringing them a bit closer to their vision of “Therapy for All”

The Challenge

Talkspace is a leader in online mental health therapy, connecting therapists with patients using messaging. However, the company was looking to automate repetitive conversations such as the intake process with an AI assistant, as a step to keep costs to a minimum during their high growth phase. Existing cloud-based APIs like Dialogflow or LUIS are unable to meet their high privacy requirements and need for HIPAA-BAA compliant data hosting and processing.

The Solution

Talkspace decided to choose Rasa Stack and Platform to build an AI assistant in-house with their product team. All tools are hosted in their HIPAA-compliant, on-premises or cloud servers guaranteeing the highest level of privacy and security for mental health data. In addition, Rasa’s contextual dialogue technology allows the product team to build more natural conversations that go beyond just simple back-and-forth, connecting to existing backend APIs to send and fetch relevant data and enable easy hand-off to a live consultation therapist if needed.

Next Step

Talkspace was able to build an AI assistant for their user onboarding flow within a few months. The assistant allows therapists to spend their time helping existing patients while keeping user acquisition costs low. Talkspace plans to add more skills to its AI assistant in the future based on real user conversations.

Bonnie Ray, VP Data Science at Talkspace

Automating conversations about mental health is a delicate undertaking. You want to achieve maximum privacy and highest accuracy in your responses, while still conveying empathy. Rasa gave us exactly that while allowing us to deploy the AI on our HIPAA-BAA compliant infrastructure. In addition, the contextual dialogue technology allows for more natural conversations that can adapt to the needs of the client in the moment.

- Bonnie Ray, VP Data Science at Talkspace

Industry: Healthcare

Location: New York, USA

Employees: 101-500

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