In collaboration with Prof. Abby King at Stanford School of Medicine, Prof. Bickmore was awarded a $3M grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to develop conversational agents that promote exercise among older Latino adults, Aug 9, 2013.

Wall Street Journal reports Relational Agent for individuals with Parkinson's Disease, May 27, 2013.

Laura Vardoulakis successfully defended her PhD thesis, Mar 28, 2013.

Dan Schulman successfully defended his PhD thesis, Dec 20, 2012.

Virtual Nurse system licensed to Engineered Care, Inc. for commercialization, Mar 2010.

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services , received a demonstration of the Virtual Nurse from Carolyn Clancy, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on Oct 9, 2009

The Relational Agents Group is a research laboratory in the College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University
Relational Agents are computer agents designed to form long-term, social-emotional relationships with their users. We are investigating the use of these agents in task domains in which human-agent relationships actually improve task outcomes, such as in coaching, counseling, psychotherapy and healthcare.

Surgery Agent

An agent that counsels patients on their options for surgical anesthesia.

Wearable Exercise Agent

A portable exercise counselor that can sense your walking behavior.

Virtual Nurse

A hospital bedside patient education system for individuals with low health literacy, focused on pre-discharge medication adherence and self-care counseling.

Senior Exercise Agent

A physical activity intervention for older adults with low health literacy, deployed in a geriatics clinic and designed to sustain long-term adherence.

Virtual Laboratory for Studying Human-Computer Relationships

A testbed for conducting longitudinal studies in human-computer relationships.

Ontology-driven Dialogue for Health Behavior Change

Formalization of concepts and techniques in health behavior counseling to enhance re-usability of health behavior change dialogue systems.

Medication Adherence Agent

A home-based counseling agent to promote antipsychotic medication adherence, designed for patients with Schizophrenia.

Weight Loss Agent

A home-based Virtual Coach that promotes exercise and healthy eating, and automatically incorporates data wirelessly transmitted from pedometers.

Multi-Behavior Change Agent

A web-based health counselor agent designed for a year-long intervention, promoting physical activity and ultraviolet radiation avoidance to prevent cancer.

Exercise Agent for Older Latino Adults

A community center-based exercise promotion agent, linguistically and culturally adapted for a population of Spanish-speaking Latino older adults.

Health Document Explanation by Relational Agents

Investigation of verbal and nonverbal teaching behaviors that can be used to explain complex health documents to individuals with low health literacy.

Relational Guide for Science Museums

A relational agent designed for use in a public space (Boston Museum of Science), featuring biometric user identification.

Comforting by Relational Agents

Investigation of strategies a relational agent can use to calm and comfort users.