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National Science Foundation Awards TAO Connect $500K Grant to Develop and Launch its AI-Based Chatbot

Online assisted therapy company is introducing a more humanized and personalized experience through its AI-based chatbot

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., July 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- TAO Connect, a digital health company aiming to make behavioral health therapy more accessible and efficient, today announces it has received $500,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch its artificial intelligence-based chatbot. The addition of the chatbot will provide its users with a more humanized, engaging and personalized experience.

“The continued support from the National Science Foundation has been instrumental in the growth of TAO Connect,” said Bob Clark, CEO of TAO Connect. “We’re always looking to improve the user experience, and this AI-based chatbot will advance the personalization aspect of TAO Connect’s program.”

TAO is creating the virtual coach chatbot to respond to emotions and use evidence-based techniques and models to help users deal with behavioral health problems. The chatbot makes suggestions on what to do next, based upon inputs and the user’s profile. It also gathers timely feedback on responses to each interaction leading to improved recommendations.

“Our AI-based chatbot perfectly fits into our mission to make effective behavioral health therapy more accessible,” said Dr. Sherry Benton, CSO and founder of TAO Connect. “AI is transforming many industries and we’re looking forward to implementing it within our platform to advance the behavioral health therapy space and increase accessibility for everyone.”

The company has now received six grants from the National Science Foundation in total. The previous grant was announced in October of 2018 and helped develop a French language version of its platform.

TAO is currently developing the chatbot, which will be fully available in the coming months. The current platform is available through a self-help subscription plan, or via employer or university. It’s currently in use by 144 customers, including universities and colleges, community mental health centers, employee assistance programs, and government mental health services in the US and Canada. For more information about TAO and its technology, visit

About TAO Connect:
TAO Connect is a virtual platform committed to reducing behavioral health disparities by bringing affordable, effective, and accessible treatment to people who have limited access. The online program provides therapy for common behavioral health problems using a comprehensive platform of virtual tools for therapists and clients. The tools provide information about client education, interaction, accountability, and progress assessment to facilitate effective results. TAO’s tools can be used as self-directed, minimally supported help with peer counselors or case managers, custom group support, brief psychotherapy sessions, traditional (50 minute) psychotherapy, or as a transition from inpatient back to the community.

Media Contact
Daniel Tummeley
Uproar PR for TAO Connect

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