LiveChat, Infermedica debut free chatbot for COVID-19 risk assessment

The system is designed to keep consumers away from hospitals if possible, to prevent the spread of the virus, and help overloaded caregivers.
By Bill Siwicki
12:14 PM
LiveChat, Infermedica debut free chatbot for COVID-19 risk assessment

Healthcare chatbots have been on the market for some time, but they arguably have never been as needed as they are today during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although chatbots cannot replace experienced physicians and nurses, they certainly can prove helpful when hospitals are overloaded, and when consumers have medical questions while needing to stay at home.

WHAT HAPPENED

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Two tech companies, LiveChat Software and Infermedica, have joined forces to launch chatbot technology that helps identify coronavirus symptoms and provide advice to people seeking medical assistance. The system is offered free of charge for hospitals to integrate into their systems and for consumers to use on a web site (click here for the consumer version).

WHY IT MATTERS

The chatbot is based on Infermedica’s COVID-19 Assessment Tool that was recognized on a World Health Organization list of systems supporting the fight against the pandemic. To date, it already has handled 450,000 check-ups, and there are more than 300 organizations that have implemented the tool, the company reported.

The scenario of the chatbot is based on official WHO guidelines verified by Infermedica’s team of doctors. The chatbot provides users with guidelines and advice, depending on the analysis of their answers.

The tool enables users to check whether they are in the risk group without the need to contact a medical assistant in person, thereby helping diminish the spread of COVID-19. According to a research paper published by Nature (May 4, 2020), people are more willing to provide sensitive personal symptom information to a chatbot than to a human.

THE LARGER TREND

Healthcare technology and services vendors have been mobilizing to deploy solutions aimed at reducing the strain on healthcare practitioners as the outbreak continues, among them IntelyCare, which launched free virtual nurse training for COVID-19.

Orion Health released a remote patient-monitoring platform to combat COVID-19, which allows for the engagement of patients in their homes and facilitates communication between quarantined people and healthcare providers.

ON THE RECORD

“Authoritative, safe and reliable, the logic behind COVID-19 Assessment Tool ChatBot is based on official WHO guidelines, meticulously coordinated and implemented by Infermedica’s team of doctors,” said Tomasz Domino, chief operating officer at Infermedica, in a statement. “What’s more, Infermedica’s COVID-19 Assessment Tool was recognized on a functioning WHO list of solutions supporting the fight against the pandemic. Since the beginning, our goal has been to help as many people globally as possible.”

“Together with the Infermedica team, we believe that in the post-pandemic world, people’s awareness should be maintained as they may still become infected by the coronavirus,” added Szymon Klimczak, chief marketing officer at LiveChat. “Now more than ever, it’s everyone’s responsibility to react fast when the first symptoms occur in order to protect others from the spread of COVID-19. That’s increasingly important when many of us start socializing, working at offices, shopping physically and traveling.”

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com
Healthcare IT News is a HIMSS Media publication.