Early Usability Assessment of a Conversational Agent for HPV Vaccination

Stud Health Technol Inform. 2019:257:17-23.


With the emerging use of speech technology in consumer goods, we experimented with the application of conversational agents for the communication of health information relating to HPV vaccine. Research have stated that one-to-one contact between providers and patients have a variety of positive influences on patients' perception towards vaccines, even leading to uptake, compared to paper-based methods. We implemented a Wizard of Oz experiment that counsels adults with children (n=18) on the HPV vaccine, using an iPad tablet and dialogue script developed by public health collaborators, and for early testing of a prospective conversational agent in this area. Our early results show that non-vaccine hesitant parents believed that agent was easy to use and had capabilities needed, despite the desire for additional features. Our future work will involve developing a dialogue engine to provide automated dialogue interaction and future improvements and experimentation for the speech interface.

Keywords: Conversational agents; HPV; Wizard of OZ; counseling; speech interfaces; vaccine; voice user interfaces.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Computers, Handheld*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papillomavirus Infections*
  • Papillomavirus Vaccines*
  • Parents
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Prospective Studies
  • User-Computer Interface
  • Vaccination


  • Papillomavirus Vaccines