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Anatomy of a Woebot® (WB001): agent guided CBT for women with postpartum depression


Introduction Postpartum Depression (PPD) is common, persistent, and stigmatized. There are insufficient trained professionals to deliver appropriate screening, diagnosis, and treatment.

Areas covered WB001 is a Software as a Medical Device (SaMD) based Agent-Guided Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AGCBT) program for the treatment of PPD, for which Breakthrough Device Designation was recently granted by the US Food and Drug Administration. WB001 combines therapeutic alliance, human-centered design, machine learning techniques, and established principles from CBT and interpersonal therapy (IPT). We introduce AGCBT as a new model of service delivery, whilst describing Woebot, the agent technology that enables guidance through the replication of some elements of human relationships. The profile describes the device’s design principles, enabling technology, risk handling, and efficacy data in PPD.


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