The COVID-19 pandemic has been a real eye-opener when it comes to the value and impact of modern technology in helping us cope with a global crisis. The use of chatbots, for instance, has more than doubled since 2020, and they are still proving to be a formidable weapon in the fight against COVID-19.
One example is the Coronavirus Info-Chat, a diagnostic chatbot by the Italian digital health firm, Paginemediche, which has recently been discovered to have the ability to predict surges in COVID-19 cases.
Launched last year in an effort to contain the virus in Italy, Coronavirus Info-Chat helps people assess their symptoms and get proper guidance on the next steps to take. The chatbot supported Italy’s healthcare system by providing online triage in infection diagnostics based on the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health and helping identify potential COVID-19 cases.
Now, a study compared the number of COVID-19 cases reported by Italy’s national health surveillance system with the trends in online sessions with the chatbot, and found that activity spikes in the chatbot signaled the spikes in COVID-19 cases, with peaks in usage preceding the surges in COVID-19 cases by around a week.
Not only was the Coronavirus Info-Chat able to deliver efficient services but it also widened the horizon for the innovation of new ways of getting ahead of the virus.
There are currently many use cases for chatbots in healthcare aside from symptom checking. They can educate users about various diseases, answer frequently asked questions, take care of patient administration, send medication reminders, assist physicians with patient tracking, and even aid in therapy.
The healthcare sector is one of the top industries that already benefit from chatbots, and with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic seeming nowhere in sight, the demand for remote healthcare services and solutions will undoubtedly pave the way for the rise in adoption of chatbots for telehealth and telemedicine.
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