Itika Gupta


pdf bib
Summarizing Behavioral Change Goals from SMS Exchanges to Support Health Coaches
Itika Gupta | Barbara Di Eugenio | Brian D. Ziebart | Bing Liu | Ben S. Gerber | Lisa K. Sharp
Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and improved mental well-being. Yet, more than half of the US population is insufficiently active. Health coaching has been successful in promoting healthy behaviors. In this paper, we present our work towards assisting health coaches by extracting the physical activity goal the user and coach negotiate via text messages. We show that information captured by dialogue acts can help to improve the goal extraction results. We employ both traditional and transformer-based machine learning models for dialogue acts prediction and find them statistically indistinguishable in performance on our health coaching dataset. Moreover, we discuss the feedback provided by the health coaches when evaluating the correctness of the extracted goal summaries. This work is a step towards building a virtual assistant health coach to promote a healthy lifestyle.


pdf bib
Human-Human Health Coaching via Text Messages: Corpus, Annotation, and Analysis
Itika Gupta | Barbara Di Eugenio | Brian Ziebart | Aiswarya Baiju | Bing Liu | Ben Gerber | Lisa Sharp | Nadia Nabulsi | Mary Smart
Proceedings of the 21th Annual Meeting of the Special Interest Group on Discourse and Dialogue

Our goal is to develop and deploy a virtual assistant health coach that can help patients set realistic physical activity goals and live a more active lifestyle. Since there is no publicly shared dataset of health coaching dialogues, the first phase of our research focused on data collection. We hired a certified health coach and 28 patients to collect the first round of human-human health coaching interaction which took place via text messages. This resulted in 2853 messages. The data collection phase was followed by conversation analysis to gain insight into the way information exchange takes place between a health coach and a patient. This was formalized using two annotation schemas: one that focuses on the goals the patient is setting and another that models the higher-level structure of the interactions. In this paper, we discuss these schemas and briefly talk about their application for automatically extracting activity goals and annotating the second round of data, collected with different health coaches and patients. Given the resource-intensive nature of data annotation, successfully annotating a new dataset automatically is key to answer the need for high quality, large datasets.

pdf bib
Heart Failure Education of African American and Hispanic/Latino Patients: Data Collection and Analysis
Itika Gupta | Barbara Di Eugenio | Devika Salunke | Andrew Boyd | Paula Allen-Meares | Carolyn Dickens | Olga Garcia
Proceedings of the First Workshop on Natural Language Processing for Medical Conversations

Heart failure is a global epidemic with debilitating effects. People with heart failure need to actively participate in home self-care regimens to maintain good health. However, these regimens are not as effective as they could be and are influenced by a variety of factors. Patients from minority communities like African American (AA) and Hispanic/Latino (H/L), often have poor outcomes compared to the average Caucasian population. In this paper, we lay the groundwork to develop an interactive dialogue agent that can assist AA and H/L patients in a culturally sensitive and linguistically accurate manner with their heart health care needs. This will be achieved by extracting relevant educational concepts from the interactions between health educators and patients. Thus far we have recorded and transcribed 20 such interactions. In this paper, we describe our data collection process, thematic and initiative analysis of the interactions, and outline our future steps.