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The Babyhelfer – Virtual Psychological Counselling for Expecting and New Parents – The Babyhelfer App

The aim of the project "Die Babyhelfer" is to provide virtual psychological counselling to expecting and new parents by means of an app in order to reduce the shortage of care for certain sub-pathological and psychological problems.

Person mit Smartphone in der Hand
© AdobeStock/sitthiphong
Research project
Forming Society
European Regional Development Fund, FKZ: 85037910

In Germany and other Western countries, there is a drastic underuse of psychotherapeutic services. At the same time, the incidence of mental illness is consistently high (approx. 30% prevalence rate) and the number of days missed from work due to psychological problems is rising continuously. The scaling of psychological intervention from a 1:1 situation to more efficient care through 1:many care therefore remains an important and urgent challenge. The possibilities offered by modern digital technologies promise cost-effective and low-barrier solutions in this area.

The aim of the "Die Babyhelfer" project is therefore to use technological and application-oriented research to develop a software (app) for effective semi-automatic psychological intervention that can significantly reduce the supply shortage for certain sub-pathological psychological problems. This will create the scientific basis for the development of technically new and improved e-health products. The starting point is the current widely available technological standards. With the help of interdisciplinary expertise from psychology, user experience design and computer science as well as a consistent user orientation, solutions are to be found for the challenges presented.

In this project, the feasibility of an innovative, online-based application for self-directed psychological counselling is to be tested and a prototype developed. In terms of content, we are focussing on the topic area surrounding the birth of a child, as this period is associated with a variety of psychological challenges.

On the one hand, the innovation comprises the improved user experience (gamification, motivation, customer loyalty) and, on the other hand, the integration of psychologically sound diagnostics and the adaptation of methods from systemic counselling for self-directed processing by the client with minimal support from a real therapist.

As part of the measure, a feasibility study and effectiveness test of the technological-psychological innovation idea as well as a user experience analysis will be carried out and a prototype with initial self-executable counselling modules will be developed and tested.

Rundes Logo mit einem stilisierten B, daneben der Schriftzug babyhelfer

Project management

Prof. Reto Wettach
Professor for Design of Physical and Virtual Interfaces
Prof. Dr. Gerlind Große
Research Professor for Early Childhood Studies
Head of PINA Research Laboratory