Over the past three years, citizens of Croatia, Croats, have had some of the most stressful years. The nation has been struck by earthquakes and ranked #8 worldwide in suffering COVID-19 death rate per capita.

In addition, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine looms too close to Croatia, which has suffered the most gruesome wartime atrocities in recent history. And all of these have led to a dramatic rise in mental health issues.

According to research on mental health in Croatia during and after the pandemic and earthquakes, the populace has become more restless than prior. Despite the fact that 50% of Croats experience visible levels of anxiety and 20% have severe or extremely severe anxiety, this issue remains on the periphery.

Hence, Croatia Insurance, Bruketa&Zinic&Grey, and Go2Digital collaborated to create an AI Anxiety Meter, smart city lights, that detect passers’ anxiety levels. The goal of the AI, Anxiety Meter campaign was to raise awareness about the dangers of long-term emotional stress and the consequences of ignoring mental health.

The AI Anxiety Meter

The objective was to link people’s emotional states to the level of the health risk they were facing and then provided a real-time treatment. The AI Anxiety Meter detects a mixture of 8 emotions defined as anxiety using Google’s FER, face mesh and automatic facial emotion recognition technologies, and other facial expression analysis techniques.

The participants would stand in front of the screen and give their consent by waiting 5 seconds for the app to scan their faces and display their level of concern.

Those who were the most stressed were referred to a free preventative health check-up, while those who were less worried were educated on the importance of mental health.

AI Could Play a Big Role in Tackling Mental Health Issues

A recent study published in Pervasive and Mobile Computing found that AI may detect anxiety symptoms with more than 92% accuracy. These technological advancements can open up new avenues for more effectively addressing mental health issues.

“AI appears to be a promising tool in the future of mental wellbeing, especially given the present generation’s fascination with gadgets and smartphones. AI techniques, if properly designed, can help in early identification, evaluation, and treatment of psychiatric conditions, as well as prevention measures,” said Rashmi Parmar, MD, a psychiatrist with Mindpath Health.

While AI will not be capable of replacing the much-needed “human touch” in medicine, Dr. Parmar points out that it can make life easier and reduce stress for those working to improve medicine’s future.

The campaign conducted by Croatia Insurance also showed that an encounter with the ad could help people live healthier lives. People waited in line to have their anxiety levels measured. The ad was interacted with by one-third of all passers-by. In Croatia Insurance’s health facilities, preventive check-ups grew by 31,22%.

Even though the campaign has come to an end, the AI Anxiety Meter will remain available on the Croatia Insurance mobile app for anyone interested.

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