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Hackernoon logoHow Chatbots Are Helping The Fight Against Covid-19 by@dennis-c

How Chatbots Are Helping The Fight Against Covid-19

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@dennis-cDennis C

I build Conversational Solutions for everyday problems

With the recent surge in the number of coronavirus cases and more countries joining those already in self-imposed-quarantines and lockdowns, people have been getting understandably anxious. There has been a surge in the Google Trends for coronavirus related search terms. 

In correlation, a lot of fake news, and bogus remedies are making the rounds as well. This misinformation ranges from gargling with bleach to Trump declaring . This is one area in which chatbots can augment healthcare communications. Healthcare providers can use chatbots as a communication touch-point to dispense authoritative, accurate information to curb panic and allay fears.  

How are Chatbots Useful: 

Chatbots have been augmenting healthcare communications for a very long time. The main argument in favor of chatbots, in this case, is that people can access information from reputable sources like the government instead of relying on sketchy sites or social media accounts. 

The second main advantage of this approach is that chatbots reduce the load that is placed on existing healthcare systems. By letting people self-serve themselves, relevant and accurate information, hospitals and staff can efficiently provide care to those that need it. It also ties in well with Social Distancing: one of the few ways by which the 'curve can be flattened.' 

Related Read- Living in Lockdown: What's the Appropriate Response to the Coronavirus?

Chatbots for Healthcare Communications 

Chatbots can and have been augmenting healthcare communications for a very long time. Experts state that 3 out of 5 doctor visits would be irrelevant if the common questions of patients are addressed via chatbots. The clinic visits are also estimated to reduce by a whopping 60% as the chatbots handle patient queries." Several different organizations and countries have already deployed chatbots to supplement their efforts:

Last week, the World Health Organization partnered with WhatsApp to provide coronavirus related accurate health information to the people. This information ranges from latest news updates and research findings on the virus to tips by which people can protect themselves.

India launched MyGov Corona Help-desk, a WhatsApp chatbot: by which people can get authoritative answers instantly. These questions range from common queries such as what the symptoms are, to steps by which they can seek help. All the information dispensed by the chatbot comes from the country's Ministry of Health.

Providence St. Joseph Health now uses a healthcare chatbot using which people can self assess their risk of contracting the virus. It uses Microsoft Azure and provides concerned people with a way to screen themselves.

Wrap-Up:

Chatbots are proving to be indispensable in the global fight against the coronavirus. By ensuring people get access to timely and accurate information about the coronavirus, chatbots are being used as communication touchpoints by healthcare providers and organizations.

Original story posted on Hybrid.Chat.

Disclosure: I create Unique Conversational Experiences at Hybrid.Chat: a chatbot-augmented Live Chat platform. We are working on creating our own multilingual chatbot solution to spread awareness about COVID-19 in India. Check out Cori, the Coronavirus Awareness and Self Assement chatbot.

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