COVID-19 Healthbot in collaboration with Microsoft
In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, Microsoft needed a partner for Healthbot implementations in Belgian hospitals. Due to the strong partnership and Arinti’s experience with Conversational AI and the Microsoft Bot Framework, we were selected as the unique Belgian implementation partner.
Filip Van Landeghem, Head of ICT Department ASZ Aalst
Arinti's fast approach and smoots communication ensured that the COVID-19 symptom checker on ASZ.be was accessible to the public in no time. The chatbot not only provides answers to questions related to possible symptoms, but also tells the visitor what to do if they show certain symptoms.
Hospitals today are flooded with questions from concerned citizens about possible COVID-19 contamination. They are looking for ways to enable triage, and to make sure patients receive the right advice, or a recommendation to visit the hospital depending on their symptoms. On top of that, hospitals are having a hard time assessing the amount of patients they can expect. They lack specific insights in regards of who, where and how many people have questions.
In response to the global spread of the COVID-19 virus, Microsoft created a set of HealthBot templates that can easily be modified and extended to address the needs of specific hospitals. The templates allow implementation partners like us to implement a chatbot in a matter of days. They make it easy to integrate the QnA maker (or even other bots) to enable a rapid extension of the available scenarios the chatbot can deal with.
One of the key strenghts of the chatbot is the UX. The interface has been slimmed down so that anyone with an internet connection, no matter the device or the age of the potential patient, can make use of the self-assessment tool. Input is given mainly through buttons, and we make use of drop-down menu’s to provide users with additional information when requested.
Short implementation times
Thanks to the available HealthBot templates and several code snippets to install and customize the bot on the website of the hospital, we were able to speed through the development process in only a few days. Between March 25th and April 6th, no less than 6 chatbots went live at Belgian hospitals: https://www.azrivierenland.be/, https://www.ziekenhuiswaregem.be/, http://www.slbo.be/, https://www.azdelta.be/, https://www.azvesalius.be/ & http://www.asz.be/.
After every self-assessments, potential patients are requested to answer a few questions about their age, sex and postal code. The logs of the conversations can thus be used to create intelligent dashboards to get insights in the data collected. This information is gathered in a PowerBI report, so that the hospitals get a better view on the amount of possible future hospital admissions.
The results of the bots’ usage were astonishing. At one specific hospital, more than 700 users did a self-assessment in less than 4 days after the go-live.
The COVID-19 bot has resulted in, for the first time, a substantial reduction in the daily Corona related calls. The vast majority of the users rate the interactive way of self-assessing useful and we see a great potential in using chatbots in emergency care in the future.
After the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, we created a second Healthbot scenario. When hospitals start receiving non-covid-19 patients again, it is important to have a tool in place that can help create a risk-profile for these patients. That is why we created a bot for patient triage. In advance of an appointment, patients are invited through SMS to complete a short survey with a chatbot. The survey results are linked to the patients’ Electronic Patient Dossier (EPD). This way, the patients’ data remains safe and is centrally stored. A first implementation was done at Ziekenhuis Oost Limburg (ZOL):
Dr. Peter Thijs, CIO ZOL (Hospital East Limburg)
We are very enthusiastic about how we were able to build a very useful application in a very short term to support our covid triage flows. In a few days and with a minimum of costs, we had an accessible and patient-friendly application operational.
Arinti is a strong believer of the Microsoft Bot Framework. As a member of the Bot Framework Partner Advisory Board, we have a clear vision on the roadmap and can provide regular input to the Bot Framework Product Teams. Thanks to our excellent references and the great partnership with Microsoft, we were able to contribute to the fight against Corona.
Read the customer testimonial on Microsoft Pulse here.